Mbaruk field studies centre

People in rural Kenya live much the way their ancestors did, farming the land with simple tools, collecting firewood from the forests and discarding their waste on any available land. In the past this never caused any great problem, but with rapidly increasing population, the introduction of environmentally damaging products such as plastics and chemical pesticides and increased trade demanding higher productivity, the traditional way of life is becoming more damaging to the natural world.

The Field Studies Centre is a scheme aimed at promoting environmental conservation in and around Nakuru. It began in late 2001 as a tree-planting project in a Mbaruk, and has since expanded to include the promotion of many environmentally friendly farming practices.

At the heart of the Field Studies Centre is the Model Farm, a demonstration site for many of the environmentally friendly practices that we promote in the community. The model farm is currently in the early stages of development, but will eventually become a facility that villagers can visit to learn about the different practices and technologies that can benefit them. After working with villagers at the model farm, our volunteers will then assist them in implementing the ideas at their homes.


To actively promote change towards a healthier society. Founded on principles of social justice and sustainable environmental practices. Mbaruk field studies centre believes healthier societies rely fundamentally on respect for individual rights, the vitality of communities and the celebration of diversity.

Mbaruk field studies centre exists to demonstrate the workings of these systems by designing a human environment that produces food, shelter, energy and sharing of ideas. It offers people a practising model from which they can create their own, and empower others.

Volunteer/Gap year

Much of your time will be spent planting and looking after the environment especially trees planting. We are replanting areas that have suffered deforestation in the past, using species carefully chosen to provide benefit to local communities.

You'll learn all about sustainable development and organic practices, including how to produce our 'vermi-compost' - a natural fertilizer produced from domestic and farm waste using earthworms. There is also a medicinal plats nursery, where we are cultivating indigenous plant species that can be used to treat a wide variety of common ailments. You'll learn about these plants' properties and may be lucky enough to produce some medicine yourself with our distilling equipment.

A typical placement will involve you spending a week or two at various research and education centres, learning relevant skills to bring back to the project. You will then spend a large part of your time working on the Model Farm, helping to set up the various projects, and eventually passing on the techniques to local people. The remainder of the placement will be spent living and working out in the villages, planting trees and promoting ideas from the Studies Centre.

Educational Objectives

Mdaruk Field Studies Centre caters for students from all educational levels and provides environmental education on both a residential and day-basis.

The objectives of the Centre are as follows:

Educational Approach

To set the stage for visiting educational groups, most courses start out at the Trust House, which is also used as a demonstration farm. The trust House is also used as a casual lecture venue for orientating students towards the primary aims of assisting conservation and fostering environmental awareness. These initial talks introduce many of the environmental topics that are later covered in the bush.

Outdoor Classroom

The primary focus of the education programme is to conduct all classes outdoors. This enables the students to have a hands-on experience with as little traditional classroom teaching as possible. This approach is well known by many professional educators as essential to the learning process. The outdoor classroom requires skills not easily demonstrated or used in the classroom. On the rare occasions that the weather is inclement, indoor activities, ranging from quizzes and environmental games to environmental debates and drama, are undertaken until nature allows the outdoor classroom to be explored.


Christian Environmental Awareness Programme (CEAP)

Mbaruk Field Studies Centre supports the work of CEAP whose aims is to raise the awareness and to enable the churches of Kenya, Christian groups and individuals to get involved in environmental work, to share information, pool common experiences and encourage people of all faiths to be a united witness to caring for God's creation.


To embrace the environment as our spiritual home and to participate in the dance of ongoing creation.


The mission of Christian Environmental Awareness Project is to promote the quality of human life by being a source of information, spiritual teaching and demonstrating the urgent need for sustainable systems that produce food security, energy efficient homes, and appropriate technology. It offers people a practising model from which they can create their own ideas, and empower others to make a difference to their lives.

How You Can Get Involved With the CEAP Lifestyle Plan

Each step of the CEAP Lifestyle plan process is voluntary. You may proceed as far as you wish.

Step 1. Attend a CEAP Workshop. You'll be provided with be involved in dialogue and provided with instructions and help on how to progress through the risk assessment and action plan development contained in the CEAP workbook.

Step 2. Submit your CEAP Lifestyle Action Plan for a confidential review by a group of environmentally locally appointed Christian activist. They may be able to offer suggestions to help you achieve your environmental Lifestyle goals.

Step 3. Begin implementing your CEAP Lifestyle Action Plan.

Step 1 Details - Attending an EFP Workshop

Workshops are organized and delivered at Mbaruk Field Studies Centre. The area agricultural officer assisted by volunteers with different environmental expertise provides technical expertise. The is no charge for the workshop *.

Completing the Risk Assessment

The CEAP Risk Assessment gives you the opportunity to rate your current level of environmental awareness and concern in various areas on your lifestyle (e.g. water wells, fuel storage, soil management, pest management) as presented in the CEAP Workbook. The Worksheets are easy to follow. They help to highlight environmental strengths as well as areas of environmental lifestyle concern.

Each of the worksheets are set up in a similar manner and have an average of 20 questions. You complete only the worksheets and questions, which apply to your situation.

Developing an Action Plan

When the worksheets are completed, your ratings will show areas of your lifestyle that would benefit from changes to reduce potential environmental risk. The development of an Action Plan will help you analyse the situation; decide what you can do, and when it can be done.

Step 2 Details - Submitting Your CEAP Lifestyle Action Plan Review

Submit your CEAP plan. The Review committee is comprised of local people experienced with farming and lifestyle environmental issues. Once your Action Plan is deemed appropriate by the Peer Review Committee, you can participate in the CEAP's Small grant Cost-Share Programme to help cover a portion of the costs of implementing eligible projects from your action plan Many participants have expressed a tremendous sense of accomplishment and satisfaction once their CEAP Lifestyle Plan is complete and peer reviewed.

Step 3 - Implementing Your Action Plan

Information sheets

Each of the 15 worksheets in the Workbook has a corresponding info sheet. This info sheets have been developed to provide you with more information to help you effectively completing your action plans for peer review. Info sheets are structured just like the CEAP worksheets by dealing with each issue one question at a time.

Info sheets are:

Info sheets are not:

* Lunches may carry a modest cost.