Uvumbuzi Africa, a Non-Governmental Organization registered in Kenya, is dedicated to the protection and conservation of wildlife and the environment in Kenya and the broader African continent. The name Uvumbuzi is derived from the Swahili word “Vumbua” which means to “discover”. In this context, Uvumbuzi Africa is premised on the concept of ‘Conservation by Discovery’ of the numerous, largely undiscovered natural habitats in Kenya and Africa.
The general philosophy of Uvumbuzi Africa is to ‘leave the earth a better place than we found it.’ This is in line with the spirit of the preamble to The Constitution of Kenya 2010 which states: ‘We the people of Kenya…RESPECTFUL of the environment, which is our heritage, and determined to sustain it for the benefit of future generations’ and the Native American saying, ‘We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’. We encourage the protection of all wildlife and natural resources, recognising that their future depends on our actions today.
History of Uvumbuzi Africa
The birth of Uvumbuzi Africa was inspired by the Uvumbuzi Club members who have been passionate about conservation since the 70’s. We exist to create a platform for, and provide support to, all stakeholders in participation, ownership and leadership of conservation in Africa, spearheaded by the young men and women.
Uvumbuzi Africa has five key goals as part of its overall vision:
- To promote and advocate for sustainable conservation of wildlife and the environment
- To pioneer and create an advocacy platform using new media to showcase unheard voices of young men and women in conservation, in Kenya and across Africa to be heard and to steer them towards requisite support through that exposure
- To create strategic linkages, partnerships and synergies with ongoing conservation initiatives and organisations, to enhance conservation efforts
- To promote the empowerment of young men and women through encouraging and supporting conservation entrepreneurship initiatives
- To promote conservation by discovery through increased domestic tourism
OUR SCOPE OF WORK
1 . Conservation Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise
We support small to medium-sized conservation and environmentally conscious enterprises and individuals, through provision of bespoke grants and sourcing of interest-free funding that allows them to deliver stronger, consistent and fiscally sustainable results. Whilst providing this support, we encourage environmental protection best practices, drawing on their knowledge, experience and traditional practices to support their roles as environmental managers.
Uvumbuzi Africa identifies these enterprises and individuals through active participation and interaction with the youth and women from all walks of life through our rapidly growing network comprising of diverse demographics. We also encourage accountability and social responsibility amongst these groups and individuals and strive to connect them with potential strategic partners and investors to offer them further support in areas where we may lack expertise and/or capacity.
2 .Youth and Women Engagement and Promotion of Domestic Tourism
We are actively involved in encouraging and supporting youth engagement in environmental protection, improvement, practical and sustainable conservation and environmental advocacy. We sensitize them on the importance of proper and sustainable utilisation and enjoyment of our natural resources in an effort to ensure their conservation and protection for future generations.
One of our approaches is fun and interactive, giving the youth an opportunity to share their ideas and experiences in conservation while giving them an opportunity to engage directly with wildlife in different ecosystems with hopes of inspiring them to not only appreciate them but to want to protect them. Uvumbuzi Africa has dubbed these interactive sessions, Picnic Conversations on Conservation (PiCCs). By giving the youth these opportunities to interact with wildlife on a personal basis, Uvumbuzi Africa aims to promote domestic tourism in line with our motto ‘conservation by discovery.
3. Conservation Philanthropy and Strategic Partnership of Uvumbuzi Africa
Uvumbuzi Africa participates in current and on-going conservation and environmental philanthropy efforts in Kenya. We collaborate with various organizations and partners, working together cooperatively, combining resources towards achieving shared conservation goals and objectives. Through these strategic partnerships, we link youth/women-led initiatives to donors, funding and help foster relationships with the aim to make these initiatives self-sufficient.
We also strive and seize the opportunity to create dialogue and debate around local conservation initiatives. We identify members of the community who are actively involved in conservation and provide to them the support that they need to become thought leaders amongst their peers and encourage others to participate in these conservation efforts.
We believe in creating opportunities to strengthen and highlight Kenya’s vast and in-depth local conservation knowledge and untapped potential as a beacon of thought leadership.
4. Capacity Building and Promotion of Empowerment
We offer support to the youth and women in the community in an effort at providing them with the tools and skills to take charge of their lives by facilitating and sponsoring training programmes that can accord them an opportunity to acquire skills. It is our belief that these skills not only provide them with a means to generate their own income but also allow them to do so in an environmentally sustainable manner which in effect contributes to conservation efforts. We strongly believe that this form of active, practical empowerment is an effective and much needed mode of fostering sustainable conservation across Africa.
5. Advocacy and Use of New Media in Conservation
Uvumbuzi Africa focuses on creating a platform for the youth, women and other stakeholders in the conservation sector to openly share their views on conservation, on-going projects or ideas, the challenges they face and recommendations on how to mitigate these challenges. We recognise that we live in a digital age and have tapped into new media including social media platforms to facilitate this advocacy and allow these voices to be heard.