“We were at the mtego ya panya, and I could not find my way back. I remember at this point I felt a mixture of despair, anger, and excitement. The fear of not emerging ‘Alpha’ in the competition drove my brains into a fervent frenzy,” recounts George Brian. George is in the Alpha team at a Treasure Hunt event held at City Park, a good example of the Treasure Hunt experience.
I am a fan of the Friends of City Park’s Treasure Hunts, and our environment fun day, proved to be the best of green-space fun. Treasure Hunts combines a series of activities with the aim of providing the participants with a grand tour around the park, learning the rich history, and diversity it has to offer. Participants even have the opportunity to engage with some of these Treasures. For example, at the butterfly house we got to learn about butterflies, and meet, and interact with scientist, Dr. Ian Gordon, whose passion for butterflies has led to exciting research.
Forty-seven of our organization–Digital Data Divide (DDD Kenya) participated. We were divided into several teams, each with a volunteer guide (who was only allowed to provide guidelines), provided by the Friends. Participants had to find the treasures all by themselves.
DDD Kenya, is based in Nairobi, and provides employment for underprivileged youth, who have a dream to attain tertiary education. It provides an opportunity to propel them in society, and in their careers, in a bid to better their lives.
The employment offered helps the youth to meet their daily basic needs, while still in school. Some of them are employed with below average ICT skills but with training they acquire these skills. DDD has well over 200 active operatives presently at their offices in Ngara.
DDD Kenya is a supporter of the efforts of Friends of City Park. Through their organised Treasure Hunts they spread awareness on the park’s existence, usage, and conservation. City Park is today’s most bio-diverse sanctuary in Nairobi, and is under constant threat–being eyed by developers. The Friends, and others including DDD Kenya, call upon fellow Nairobians to help save this green treasure by signing up for the events as groups and institutions.
This is a haven for all Nairobians—having different kinds of species of special trees. These trees provide for people, wildlife, and absorb carbon dioxide. The park is also the place where some of the most inspiring political heroes of Kenya were laid to rest. Pio Gama Pinto’s grave, among other heroes, and the country’s second Vice-President Joseph Murumbi, and his wife can be found here. There is a Murumbi Memorial garden with sculptures for those who are passionate about art.
On weekends, families visit to unwind at City Park’s serene gardens. The monkeys love this particular time of the week as they rummage for leftovers lying around or in the bins. The bold ones can be seen trotting about waiting for an ideal opportunity to scavenge from visitors while they picnic. One needs to be careful because these monkeys can get aggressive for food, especially if they realise that kids have been left alone while eating. Besides families, there are recreational, sport, choir, church, and other groups that make use of the park for team-building activities.
I urge all in Nairobi to raise their voices high, and help protect this jewel called City Park.
By Joseph Kamau
Editor, Digital Divide Data