Founded: 1995

Sector: Social Enterprise/ Environmental Enterprise

Location: Kisumu and Lake Victoria Basin Kenya

Website: http://www.ecofinderkenya.org/

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Introduction

EcoFinder Kenya is a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) registered under Section 10 of the Non-Governmental Co-ordinations Act of Kenya (1990). EcoFinder is a grassroots organisation and works with communities across the Lake Victoria Basin. Its motto is "Environmental entrepreneurship for sustainable communities" and it is committed to the sustainable development of communities, with communities playing an active role in the amelioration of the social, environmental and wider development problems facing them. EcoFinder Kenya is a membership and volunteer based organisation, some of its key areas of activity include: research and monitoring, landscape rehabilitation, entrepreneurship, capacity building and training, conservation education and advocacy, leadership incubation, and the promotion of peace and good governance at a local level. EcoFinder Kenya works with a variety of local, national and international partners.

History

EcoFinder Kenya was formed in 1995 by a group of like minded young people residing in Kisumu who shared a common desire to help their community tackle the many social, environmental and development problems facing it. Reflecting its formation by young people, EcoFinder Kenya was and remains particularly concerned with the challenges faced by young people. Initially EcoFinder Kenya was founded under the name the EcoFinder Youth Movement, however this name was deemed to have political connotations and was soon changed to the EcoFinder Youth Group. EcoFinder began primarily as a drama group undertaking social marketing for NGOs. Over time this drama group evolved into a registered self-help group and Community Based Organisation (CBO) for young people and expanded its areas of activity. EcoFinder Kenya recently changed is legal status and is now a registered Non-Governmental Organisation.

Vision

"Ecofinder is committed to the promotion of Lake Victoria people's active participation in ameliorating their Environment, Livelihood and Health and by extension that of their communities"

Mission

To empower and work with the grass-root communities through holistic approaches in order to make them realise their potential and attain local sustainable development

Objectives

  • To facilitate communities proactive involvement in sustainable development issues around the Lake Victoria region
  • To promote natural resource conservation amongst Lake Victoria communities
  • To promote environmentally friendly enterprises for poverty alleviation
  • To facilitate sustainable development education, training and advocacy on various thematic issues among Lake Victoria communities

Interventions and areas of activity

Environment

EcoFinder Kenya in partnership with other community groups and stakeholders has undertaken a diverse range of interventions aimed at encouraging the sustainable utilisation of natural resources, these include:

  • Environmental Education – EcoFinder Kenya has been involved in sustainable development related education since 1995. In this field it has worked with a variety of organisations including the Rufford Small Grants Foundation and the International Primatological Society (IPS). In one of its ventures, the Dunga Beach Ecology School, EcoFinder Kenya works with local schools, companies and government and civil society actors to provide educational tours and boat rides. Human wildlife conflict is also a significant area of environmental education undertaken by EcoFinder.
  • Environmental research and monitoring- EcoFinder Kenya has staff and members with research skills and experience and has been funded to undertake a number of research activities including primate surveys and avitourism surveys.
  • Environmentally focussed training and capacity building- One example of EcoFinder Kenya's environmental training and capacity building activities is its work on conservation and entrepreneurship funded by the Whitley Trust Fund for Nature, UK.
  • Habitat rehabilitation and restoration. EcoFinder is currently working to establish tree based enterprises focussing on seedling production, afforestation and landscape beautification.

IT and Entrepreneurship

EcoFinder Kenya has undertaken interventions aimed at mainstreaming IT and entrepreneurship in grassroots communities. In this sphere it is undertaking a variety of activities including:

  • Green Energy Technologies- In partnership with organisations from Germany, the UK and other Kenyan groups EcoFinder Kenya operates Green Energy Kiosks. Various green technology products including solar lanterns, biogas, improved cook stoves are sold by local entrepreneurs to local communities.
  • IT and Entrepreneurship training, education and capacity building
  • Promotion of local businesses- Helps provide access to market for local entrepreneurs and craft producers through its gift shop. Provides support to local community ecotourism ventures, works in partnership with the Dunga Ecotourism and Environmental Youth Group (DECTA) and the Dunga Beach Management Unit.

Health and Outreach

EcoFinder Kenya undertakes a variety of health and outreach work. It promotes preventative health care through the provision of items like mosquito nets. It also donates wider charitable materials like food, books and school uniforms. EcoFinder's work in this area stems from its belief that unhealthy and hungry communities cannot participate actively in environmental conservation and entrepreneurial activities. EcoFinder has also undertaken health related drama interventions including social marketing on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Water Treatment. EcoFinder has also carried out theatre related to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Peace, Leadership and Governance

This is the final principal area of activity for EcoFinder Kenya. EcoFinder Kenya's interventions in this area include training and capacity building through coaching, and mentorship and incubation on peace, leadership and governance. Events and activities organised by EcoFinder Kenya in this area include sports for peace, festivals for leadership and camps for good governance.

International and Domestic Partners

EcoFinder Kenya's international and domestic partners include: Artefact Centre for Sustainable Development; Centre for Rural Empowerment and the Environment (CREE); Teach A Man To Fish; African Bird Club; Rufford Small Grants Foundation; Whitley Fund For Nature (WFN); International Primatological Society; Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF-Changamoto Fund); Peace One Day; Lake Victoria Sunset Birders (LVSB); Barwabar Disabled Players Organization; Tropical Biology Association; Nature Kenya; Provincial Administration; Government Departments and Parastatals; Other Civil Society Organizations and Institutions; Earthwatch Institute Kenya; Ecological Society for Eastern Africa (ESEA).

EcoFinder Kenya Enterprises

No Enterprise Type Details Partners
1 Green energy technology Operates on a Green Energy Kiosk Model. Products include solar lanterns, biogas, improved cook stoves Small solutions Germany, Paradigm Project, E-Charger Limited, Local artisans, My Sunshine Box Western Kenya
2 Water and sanitation Compost or ecosan toilets, springs protection, small scale irrigation Lake Victoria Birders Organisation, Sustainable Table, Individual water and sanitation entrepreneurs
3 Gift shop Papyrus, hyacinth and wastes based cultural materials Dunga Crafts Ltd, Diakonia Disability Group (Twaweza Disabled Self Help Group), Takataka Treasure Arts, Individual fine artists or entrepreneurs
4 Social marketing Marketing of goods, services, projects and ideas through the EcoFinder Creative Players and public address system Civil society actors
5 Eco-cultural tourism Bird watching, tour guiding, boat rides Dunga Ecotourism and Environmental Youth Group (DECTA), Beach Management Unit (BMU)
6 Dunga Beach Ecology School Experiential outdoor learning for schools, organised groups and cooperatives Schools, companies, civil society actors, DECTA, BMU
7 Training facilities Offering of facilities such as laptops, projector and training space for grassroots training and meetings Civil society actors
8 Impact sourcing Securing of outsourcing services such as research and involving people at the bottom of the pyramid for critical impact  Universities, individual researchers
9 Capacity building services Professional training services on fish farming, natural resources governance Civil society actors
10 Consultancy Offering professional services in EIA, EA, PRA, M&E Civil society actors
11 Tree-based enterprise Seedlings production, afforestation and landscape beautification St Vitalis Nanga Primary School, civil society actors

Contact Details

EcoFinder Kenya

C/o Dunga Wetland Pedagogical Centre

P.O. Box 179-40123 Kisumu KENYA

Tel: +254-726-701042, +254-731-603109

Email: Ecofinder@ecofinderkenya.org

Website: www.ecofinderkenya.org