Hands Off Our Elephants at the 2014 Story Moja Hay Festival

#HandsOffOurElephants at the 2014 Story Moja Hay Festival

The Hands Off Our Elephants team has just returned from an exciting five days of interaction and knowledge sharing at the 2014 Story Moja Hay Festival. Running from the 17th through to the 21st September, the HandsOff team pitched tent and curated several activities in support of elephants at the Nairobi National Museum, where this year’s edition of the festival was staged.

Since its inception in 2007, the Storymoja Festival has grown into an internationally established event that brings together and celebrates critical thinkers and great minds in storytelling, ideas sharing, writing and contemporary culture. It offers a platform for exposure, for local and international collaborations, and showcases creative talent to feed the minds of both young and old across cultural and social divides.

“The festival attracts thousands of people from diverse sectors, so this is a great opportunity for us to reach completely new audiences and tell young people about what we are doing, “says WildlifeDirect and the HandsOdffOurElephants CEO, Dr Paula Kahumbu.

“We ask them how much they know about elephants and discover that there is very little education among many young people in this country. So it is a great opportunity to give them information, engage and invite them to be part of the campaign,” she adds.

For the team, the highlight of the festival was a monetary donation made to the campaign by a little girl from the Creative Cottage home school in Limuru. The girl had been playing at the Play Dough corner with her friends, interacting with the team’s volunteers and learning more about elephants and efforts to conserve them. And in a rare show of support, the little girl, Chloe Mukibi, reached into her bag and counted all of her five shillings coins and donated them to HandsOffOurElephants. “I know it’s not much,” she said, “But I hope it will help”.

And it will!

“When challenged to come up with ideas of how they can help,” said Dr Kahumbu, “some students get very creative! Some want to start up elephant clubs and create awareness in their home or school communities, some want to become rangers; and that to me is what is so great about this because they have seen others doing interesting things and they want to be part of it,” said Dr Kahumbu.

Hands Off Our Elephants screened the award winning film, Battle for the Elephants to hundreds of students and adults. The screening was followed by a question and answer session where WildlifeDirect staff answered questions from the audience.

The HandsOff team also hosted the Sing For the Elephants show, in which the stage was open to anyone with a song or poem or spoken word performance to take part in and to register for the Ndovu Music contest. Hundreds of children took part in this and registered for the music contest, in which the winner will win a chance to record a song with the renowned Kenyan hip hop artist, Juliani.

For video clips of the HandsOffOurElephants team at the Story Moja Festival, please go to our YouTube channel here:

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Or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HandsOffOurElephants



Elephant “families” made by the children


Screening of “Battle for the Elephants”


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