David’s hope for the future is that everybody strives to understand how nature works and that people develop a sense of care.
David Kanai was born and raised in Kenya, Kajiado county, Kuku Group ranch. He is a passionate conservationist and a youth leader who is keen on matters of education for his community. David was born in Samai Village where he is the Chairman of the Board of Members (BOM) for a local primary school (Samai Primary School). As chairman, David actively participates in solving problems that prevent children from accessing education in his village. He also leads a team of local youth in sports, particularly football, and takes the opportunity to speak to the youth about different subject matters as they engage in meaningful activities.
As a passionate conservationist, David works as a Simba Scout coordinator at the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT). He leads a team of 18 young Maasai warriors who work with the community to prevent lion hunts. Among the Maasai culture, killing lions was a tradition that acted as a rite of passage and was associated with bravery. David now leads these young men who used to kill lions and have now transformed to be their protectors. Most of his team members have no formal education but through the project have been trained to use data-collecting tools to track and protect lions living in the Chyulu Hills.
When I asked David about the impacts of the REDD+ project, this is what he had to say:
“The REDD+ Project has supported us in many ways. First, in Samai Primary School we had a serious issue of human-wildlife conflict, and the REDD+ project was able to intervene by putting up an electric fence around the school to solve the problem. Now kids are comfortable in the learning process. We had a shortage of teachers and support staff, and the project came in and employed more, not only in Samai but also in other schools across the group ranches.
We have been experiencing a severe drought in Kenya that has seen many kids miss school. The REDD+ Project was able to start a feeding program that has ensured learning continues as usual. The project supports our Simba Scouts in so many ways. When we were hit hard by Covid 19, most of our programs continued running because of the REDD+ funds. There are so many projects in the community supporting health, infrastructure, employment, restoration, and many more that are supported by the REDD+ project.” -David
What inspires David to do the kind of work he does is his concern and passion for nature. He hopes to see a healthy ecosystem where human beings and animals can coexist harmoniously. David’s hope for the future is that everybody strives to understand how nature works and that people develop a sense of care. That everyone is nature sensitive, that way in his opinion, the world would be a better place and we will move towards solving the challenges made worse by climate change.
“Being a passionate conservationist, the REDD+ Project which has proved to be beneficial to the community and has helped me send out a strong message that the protection of natural resources will positively impact our lives and that of future generations.”