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Singing the Praises of Wildlife Conservation

Isaac Munene singing his song, Maendeleo Lewa, for Lewa Wildlife Conservancy staff.

Aid for Africa does not often enough sing the praises of its members who are working to conserve wildlife in Sub Saharan Africa.  But, as you are about to read, Isaac Munene actually does sing about the good work of Aid for Africa member Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Aid for Africa’s members working on wildlife conservation take a community approach, partnering with local communities that share land with endangered and other species.  This range of effort includes reducing poaching by supporting education and small businesses to alleviate poverty, providing community health services, and even working with communities to support their livestock needs.

The stories of the benefits of this approach often highlight the iconic lions, rhinos, and zebras, not the children who are able to go to school, the women who are able to start agricultural or retail businesses, or the men who can protect their livestock in times of drought.

But one person who tells the entire story is Isaac Munene. He sings the praises of Aid for Africa member Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Maendeleo Lewa (Development on Lewa), a song on his first album Mitugu ya Ameru (The culture of the Ameru). Now 23, Isaac grew up in Matunda, Kenya, one of Lewa’s partner communities. Isaac graduated from high school in 2008, but didn’t have the money to attend college. Now, through hard work and perseverance, he has released his first album and is hoping to sell enough copies to allow him to enroll in music school.

The message of Maendeleo Lewa? That the Lewa model, which focuses on communities, is the way forward for conservation.