School near Magadi, South Rift, in September 2008 - happy kids with new t-shirts from Earth Expeditions program.
The same school this month - boarded up, deserted.
The widespread six-month drought in Kenya has devastated wildlife and cattle, bringing much of pastoral Maasai and Samburu people to the brink of true disaster - losses are staggering. But another victim of the drought is lesser known: education. Most families can no longer afford school fees (school is neither compulsory nor free in Kenya). Children of critical age - early education - are being pulled out, schools are closing. Elders have shared with me that in the 1960s they went through a similar drought, and they were pulled out of school. Most never returned. In order for conservation to succeed, we must support education of the next generation. Without education, the future is lost. Conservation is lost. I've helped establish a fundraising campaign to keep 40 schools open across the South Rift for three months, which will cost approximately $23,000. We've succeeded in bringing in a $10,000 matching grant from Cincinnati Zoo, and in just 2 days have reached halfway. Please join us in helping this important effort. See http://www.africanconservationfund.org