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Author Archives: hellenalberts

About hellenalberts

My name is Hellen Alberts, I believe in the spirit of determination and persistence and that nothing is impossible to a willing heart. I love to touch and hope to change people's lives from my writing either by my experiences or what I have observed.

MAASAI MARA POISON ATTACK.


A few days ago 8 Lions were poisoned at the Maasai Mara National Reserve . The Lions fed on Cow carcass poisoned with a highly toxic Carbamate Pesticide.  Two Lions succumbed to the poisoning and the rest said to be recovering. 

Watching the news yesterday two men were arrested and my prayer is they will not be punished lightly . May they serve as an example to the rest. This is not the first time we have heard the Maasai killing these Lions, with some hunting them down. What is sad this time round it was not the Lions that were attacking their cattles or the locals themselves. It is the Locals that have been grazing their cattles on the reserve land.

Poisoned-Marsh-Pride-lion-and-White-backed-Vulture.-Masai-Mara-National-Reserve-Kenya.-Photo-by-L.-Sankai-600x400

One of the Poisoned Lions and the endangered White back vulture . Photo Courtesy of National Geographic (photo by L.Sankai)

Yes people are aware of what is happening around  through various networks including the news,but I strongly believe awareness should not only be on social media but especially on the grass root level to that Local Man that doesn’t know the Importance of these wildlifes, forest and the importance of preserving Nature. These Locals that have no access to Electronic and print  Media.

What is Sad now the Vultures are dying as well from this poisoning.  As long as the Locals are not involved in this fight then all this is in vain. Because it is them that are wooed to poaching and killing as well . More Locals should be involved by working hand in hand with the Rangers as well as educating the rest.

My heart weeps every day and sorry for our grandchildren and future generations. What makes Africa? It is our Wildlife, Nature, Cultures, natural resources that makes us,that is our Identity . But if we keep destroying what we have then we are nothing. One day our Children will get to read and see pictures that their were once Elephants, Lions, Forests in Africa…………

 

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SIX ELEPHANTS MASSACRED IN THE NAME OF IVORY TRADE.


Photo Courtesy of ElephantsDC

Photo Courtesy of ElephantsDC

My heart bleeds and gutted not just to think but write about this despicable act that left six Elephants Dead at the Tsavo West National Park last week. We are no longer talking about will be extinct but are going extinct at a rate of one every 14 Minutes. The Kenya Wildlife Service discovered this family of Elephants slain by Poachers and one sole survivor a tuskless baby Elephant. Losoito was rescued by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust but sadly the little one  died on August the  2nd . Losoito died of the Trauma of seeing his family brutally butchered and killed.His death brought the toll of the deadly massacre of Elephants to six killed in the name of Ivory Trade.

Big Life Foundation rangers tracked down the culprits , their Dog Didi and others from KWS led the rangers straight to a pair of shoes that matched the tracks they had been following, and it wasn’t long before the teams found two axes and a saw, still wet with blood. Thanks to the Local Community three suspects were Identified and arrested but the Ivory was already gone transported by motorbikes.

I leave this short but beautiful story of an Elephant whose photo was taken by John Chaney.They came across this Elephant whose corpse was overcome by vultures and Jackals. From a distance an Elephant came at a fast pace and chased away the predators and then very slowly and with much empathy wrapped her trunk around the deceased elephants tusk. She stayed in this position for several hours guarding her friend.If a wild animal can have this much empathy for another and a sense of protection why are we Humans who are intelligent with a sense of reason be so merciless and Heartless?

I want to acknowledge and give a special Thanks to Kenya Wildlife Service , Big Life foundation for making sure they caught the Culprits and also The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust who took Losoito received him with love and care before he passed on.

With President Obama’s visit to Kenya and his promise to ban virtually “all” ivory sales across state lines. We hope other Countries will join through to fight Ivory trade and ban all imports on Ivory products as well.As long as there is ivory demand in America and China, elephants will continue to be killed in Africa. Help Ban Ivory Sales.

 

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THE WORLD HAS COME TO KENYA’S DOORSTEP.


Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) has come to Kenya , the very first GES that will take place in Sub-Saharan Africa. The World will be watching Kenya and this is not just putting focus on Africa but Kenya as well. Kenya being a host shows we are a centre of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.So as the world will be focusing on Kenya and the International Press putting us out there we have been given a chance to sell Kenya.11391792_830675050358314_8624672967838147911_n

Global Entrepreneurship Summit brings together Business owners, Educators, Policy Makers and Investors to support the growth of new Enterprises in developing Regions. Besides People being excited of Obama’s coming are we aware that the focus is also on us a nation? A country that  has recorded a massive Economic growth in recent Years. This is the opportunity to show what Kenya is all about and why the World should choose to Invest in Kenya.There is so much untapped market that Entrepreneurs can capitalize on.

Why should you Invest in Kenya ? We have a fully liberalised Economy, preferential market access and a well established vocal private sector. There is access to a large pool of highly Educated and skilled work Force as well as a highly developed social & physical infrastructure. Kenya is a land bursting with resourcefulness, innovations and Entrepreneurial vibrancy. Besides all these we are a hub for Investment, Commerce, trade and Tourism.There is no better place than Investing in a country with a fast growing Economy and Opportunity

What has made Kenya the hub for a continent on the rise? It is because we stride with Resilience, Enterprise , Purpose and Pride for that is who we are. So as the world turns towards Kenya it hears only one thing Opportunity. Choose Kenya the Land of Opportunity.For Kenyans I believe things will never be the same for us.I am excited because we couldn’t buy this much attention and Marketing opportunity or even sell Kenya like during this Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi.Let us take advantage when the Focus is on Us. 

 

 

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LUPITA NYONG’O GLOBAL ELEPHANT AMBASSADOR.


WildAid having Lupita Nyong’o as the Global Elephant Ambassador is a very good decision. No one fits best than someone coming from a Country that is fighting poaching and I believe she will do an amazing Job to fight Ivory Trade and save Elephants as well not only in Kenya but Africa at large.

But as Kenyans and Africans in our own Countries we can do something and not wait for Ambassadors like Lupita to do the fighting for us or organisations but do something about it. You can not understand what is going on only through the Media or how Important these Animals are without actually being able to visit and see them. Its such a shame that Tourists fly all the way to Africa while we have the privilege to see these beautiful Animals at a cheap fee. The park fees that we pay help in conservation of these animals, employ more Rangers and equipments for protection and pay their salaries as well. So we need to visit these parks as often as possible that way we are doing so much in such a small way. 

Photo Courtesy of Google.

Photo Courtesy of Google.

Catching Poachers is certainly Important but that doesn’t address the underlying problems that drive Poaching. 90% of the battle will be won if the Locals are Engaged more. They see and hear more and strategies should be put to ensure that they have a change in attitude,engage them more with the Rangers because they are the people most likely to be exposed and tempted towards engaging in poaching activities.

But as we the local people fight more in our countries then we can leave the work of the Ambassadors and Wildlife Organisations in Educating and creating Public awareness both in Africa and Asia where the demand for Ivory originates.By this we do not let others do the fighting for us but do something as well.

 

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INCORPORATING DUAL EDUCATION SYSTEM IS THE WAY TO GO FOR AFRICA.


The Economy today demands a better Educated workforce than ever before and jobs in this new economy require more complex knowledge and skills than jobs of the past. That’s why we need an Education System that suits and serves the development needs of the country, continent and at the same time making it globally competitive.

A Dual Education system combines apprenticeships in a company and vocational Education at a vocational School in one course. This system is being practised in several countries especially in Europe where Germany has proved to be doing very well in it and for some years now China and other countries in Asia have adopted this system as well.

Research has shown that lack of skills is one of the main reasons of unemployment among higher Educated young people and lower unemployment on adults. Employers tend to employ adults more than fresh graduates because there is a serious mismatch between the skills young people bring with them when they leave the education system and those that are sought after in labour markets. 

Universities must also focus on Educating with an eye to African Markets improving education in technical fields and agriculture. This approach will give a  better guidance to students and steer them towards employment in the private sector and away from enrolling in the traditional public sector entrance subjects in the Arts, Humanities and Social science. 

We must also focus on expanding the Education Level on Secondary Education as the broad level on Unemployment is high on Secondary level.Many Formal Employers are looking for more practical and applied skills which can not be obtained on this level. Therefore we need more structured and specialised Institutions where those on Secondary level can get Technical and Vocational skills giving them a better chance in the Labour Market.

The Dual Education System is beneficial to both the Student and Company as well. Student benefits from the knowledge about hard skills and soft skills of more experienced co-workers therefore it is easier for him to decide whether he is able to do the job quite early and not after exams.If the Company decides to give an Employment Contract with the Student after his dual Education time, the Company benefits in getting an Employee who knows the Company’s workflow. 

Photo courtesy of Google.

Photo courtesy of Google.

The challenge with this system is young people might find it hard getting a place in a Company therefore the Government should take strong measures on calling upon all Companies to take Apprentices and also introducing affordable or support  Informal Sector training so that those with minimal Education level get for instance a Vocational Skill certificate which will better their chances of Employment as skilled workers. This system has proved to be successful to the Developed Countries and we should consider adopting it as well.

 

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WE NEED MORE AUTISM AWARENESS PROGRAMS AND CENTRES IN AFRICA.


autism_awareness_month_april_postcard-p239710160817749632z8iat_400Statistics have shown today 1 in 68 children has been diagnosed with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) . Most People are not even aware they have autistic children and in extreme cases in Rural areas these children are locked away and shut out completely from the community as well. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.

Before scientist believed Autism was a condition limited to western and technologically developed countries however there are more cases of children living with Autism in Africa. In some cultures symptoms related to autism seems normal or supernatural related and therefore these children do not get any care.

Early Intervention, diagnosis and treatment are some of the main elements to help an autistic child develop to their full potential. In the beginning Autism can be very difficult and this is the time as a parent you can learn as much as you can about treatments, medications and how to improve your Child’s communication and social behaviour.

Some of the possible reasons why cases of Autism in Africa are non verbal is due to difficulty in finding services even with a diagnosis given,mental health care facilities and trained personnel to work with autistic children are a few. Educational and behavioral interventions for children with autism are largely unavailable as well.We also don’t have enough social groups, awareness centres and People to educate the community about Autism. These are just some of the many challenges communities and Africa at large face.

African Governments should strive to create more Autism centres especially in the Rural areas to give care and support to children living with autism as well as providing Information and resources to families affected and living with Autistic Children. Affordable Educational centres for these children should be set so people living below the poverty line can still access services for their children. Raising an autistic child can take an emotional Toll on a Parent therefore Strong Social Networks should be formed within the communities for parents to be able to meet,discuss and gain support from people who understand what they are going through. These groups can be very helpful in case of any Emergency situations as well.

Autism in Africa if not addressed more children especially from rural areas will continue to grow without proper Education , help and care. People should also take personal Initiative to Educate people and make them aware of what Autism is. Only together can we help these children live a normal life and help them be independent, successful people in the society.

 

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PROACTIVE POLICY AGENDA,CHANGE IN GOVERNANCE IS WHAT KENYA’S ECONOMY NEEDS.


Within the East Africa Community, Kenya has the Largest and Fastest growing economy. But what are the challenges and Issues that need to be addressed for a country that has a more promising Economic growth?                                                                       Three Major Investments is what we need that is Institutions, Integration and Infrastructure. We have relative weak institutions,suffer major Infrastructure deficit and Regional Integration project has been slow and marred by Compliance and commitment deficits.

Other members economy within East Africa Community, Kenya is much better linked in terms of investments flows and trade. That is why we need to Increase exports and invest in transport & energy infrastructure that will help accelerate Economic growth and strengthen Kenya’s position Externally.

Industrialization Powers Job creation. Bordering the Indian Ocean we are well positioned to take advantage of Africa’s growing trade with China. Not forgetting we are the most Industrialized Country In East and Central Africa with major boost from Agriculture, Tourism and Manufacturing Industry therefore better linked in terms of Investment flows and trade.

One of the Major and strong boost to Kenya’s Economic growth is Institutional Reforms such as the adaptation of the New Constitution that provides for devolved governance. Recent discovery of Resources such as Oil, base titanium , Coal and Underground Water augur well for Kenya’s future Economic Performance but all these is in vain if not Managed well.

There is a lot of Money to be made but there are significant risks especially Insecurity associated with Terrorism and pervasive corruption remain deterrents to Investment. The Government should therefore ensure that security , political Stability and reducing corruption is one of its top most agenda. But still Challenges that need to be addressed is poverty, Inequality and access to health services. These are What Hinder one of the most Promising Countries in Africa from growing.

On Paper Kenya looks promising but for all these to come to ripe there has to be qualitative change in governance. We need more coherent and proactive policy agenda only then can we get the transformation we need.

 

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