Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO) is a non profit making community-based organization formed by members from the local community living adjacent to the globally important Kikuyu Escarpment forests. The idea of the group was conceived in 1992 after the realization that the surrounding forest was becoming degraded due to environmentally destructive practices. Two of the founder members by then had joined the local universities and acquired some knowledge on forests and natural resources. They hatched the idea of a youth group in the form of a ‘think-tank’ which would address environmental issues as a core, but also other wider social issues affecting the youth within this society.
A ‘community think-and-do-tank’ the Kijabe Young Volunteers was created in 1994 to implement the awareness campaign, and it was subsequently officially registered as Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO) in 1996.
A few others joined the group and worked together to conduct a study which established that limited community awareness (of the forest’s value) and poverty were key factors leading to forest degradation. This work prompted the initiation of an awareness campaign on the value and importance of the forest to the adjacent community. Subsequent research has confirmed that most of the solutions to forest predicaments indeed lie with members of the local community themselves.