KARURA FOREST- Not only is Karura Forest a beautiful and tranquil place for a walk, it is also buried in heaps of history, as well as serving a crucial part in Nairobi's environment and keeping all of us healthy.
KARURA FOREST- situated in the midst of a busy city, Nairobi. Here, the forest works as the lungs of the capital, clean and serene. Not only is Karura Forest a beautiful and tranquil place for a walk, it is also buried in heaps of history, as well as serving a crucial part in Nairobi's environment and keeping all of us healthy. It is essential for life in Nairobi. ISK students are taught to realize this, and why it is their duty to help preserve Karura Forest even while there is a growing demand for land and pressure from many different parties to give away the land.
Goals and Purpose
This service project has two main goals. The first one being to help take care of Karura Forest, to keep Karura forest clean, healthy and safe, and to help Karura Forest tackle the problem of invasive species, as well as tackling problems like litter and helping out with the Karura Nursery. The second goal is to equip students with numerous life skills that they will be using outside the classroom. We aim to teach students about the environment surrounding them and how to take care of it, as well as problem solving skills, collaborative skills and more.
Skills in Karura Service Project
Students participating in the Karura Forest Service project are impacting the environment directly. They also learn many collaborative skills, as they need to work together. Grade levels are mixed in this service project, so Middle and High Schoolers work together on various tasks. This semester I was the only student from my grade, and personally, I was pushed to talk with other students who I had never met before. I also noticed this happen between other students. For the most part, other students signed up with a small group of friends who they clung close to at first, yet after the first couple of weeks, the students began to mingle and work together to get tasks done. An ISK student will meet many new people when they join the Karura Service Project and they will also learn many new collaborative skills.
On top of collaborative skills, students also learn many new problem solving skills. Students need to solve many problems, starting from finding the fastest way to fill watering cans, the most effective way to collect a raked up pile of leaves, to how to solve the problem of invasive species in Karura Forest.
The first couple of weeks are dedicated to exploring and learning about the forest, for example, learning about the rich history and the problems the forest is facing now. It is also dedicated to learning about the botany, flora and fauna and science of the forest. Then students travel to the Karura Forest nursery where they water seedlings, carefully pot plants and pick up litter. Students also visit the Memorial Garden and the picnic area next to River Cafe where they rake leaves and clean the area. The second to last session is dedicated to planting trees in Karura Forest and this is one of the biggest highlights of the entire semester. The last session is a large picnic with the students and supervisors of the project, where everyone looks back, reflects and celebrates how much they learned and how much they did over the semester.
Through the Karura Forest Service Project, students learn many life skills and grows people. Students spend about three and a half hours every Wednesday outside in the fresh air surrounded by the pleasant and beautiful Karura Forest where they can spend time with their friends, old and new. This is an amazing experience and great fun for the students, who not only enjoy themselves, but also take a lot away from this service project.
Vera, Grade 9