Schools and Colleges Permaculture Programme (SCOPE) is a Kenyan network organization that comprises of civil society groups/ non-governmental organizations that were formed in 2014 by 14 pioneer organizations. It was started to strengthen and connect the ongoing initiatives of working with schools on sustainable land use and production of nutritious food. All the members of SCOPE Kenya share a common vision of making schools across Kenya good learning examples of teacher-parent-student collaboration towards sustainable land use which would lead to significant improvements in the environment, food security, and livelihoods in the surrounding communities.
Food and Nutrition Security
The current situation in terms of food and nutrition in the country, backed up by surveys and studies indicate that 51% of Kenyans have inadequate access to safe nutritious food. The demand of food remains higher than its supply leaving majority of Kenyans vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity. The objective of Scope Kenya is to alleviate this problem through modification of school landscapes into food forests using permaculture/agro-ecological practices that champion for organic farming. This is of benefit to schools as well as to the community at large.
Environmental degradation is a major concern in Kenya and it is largely attributed to harmful anthropogenic activities on the environment. Pollution of water and land, massive forest destruction, land degradation in terms of soil erosion and loss in fertility and climate change are some of the major indicators of environmental degradation. Scope Kenya is objective in alleviating the problem of land degradation through promoting conservation agriculture. This involves practicing organic farming that improves soil fertility, soil management practices such as minimal tillage, crop rotation and agroforestry which also helps in mitigating climate change. This improves the productivity of land and thus communities are able to maximally benefit from their land.
Farming presents one of the best opportunities for future livelihoods for young people in Kenya. Approaches such as agro-ecology and permaculture, are best as they are a combination of context-specific indigenous/local knowledge, modern systems-based knowledge and holistic science. This gives young people a creative perspective into farming. The knowledge and skills-oriented approach is more impactful as opposed to ‘technology-fix’ approach to agriculture and land-use as it is the sustainable farming of the future. It also has the potential to provide livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of young Kenyans. SCOPE Kenya has the mandate and strategy to promote capacity building to various stakeholders.