Melanie McElduff & Deborah Ross

African Conservation Fund

Grant Awarded: $12,000

The African Conservation Fund builds local custodianship among people who live and work with wildlife. Their financial support helps local areas critical to wildlife survival to develop the means to conserve them.

The Mukogodo region of Kenya has undergone both rapid ecological and cultural degradation. A severe drought in 2009 wiped out 90% of the pastoralist community’s wealth — their cattle and goats. Much of the region’s indigenous knowledge is at risk of being lost as these children face a more difficult and different world than their parents knew. The need for conservation, conservation education, and local empowerment in Kenya is extreme. The Mukogodo region is a vital focus point of the ACF’s conservation work.

Melanie McElduff and Deborah Ross supported their efforts by producing a book illustrated by the children of Il Polei Primary School, describing the traditional use of medicinal plants in their Massai community in Mukogodo. Children took pride in their watercolor paintings and considered the importance of the biodiversity in their own backyards.