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Stay at Elsamere Lodge
Joy's former home

Adamson legacy lives on

Joy and cubs

The story all began when George Adamson, a Game Control Officer in Kenya's Northern Frontier District, was forced to shoot a lioness in self defense.

It turned out she was protecting her three cubs and George brought them home to his wife, Joy who reared the smallest and eventually returned her to the wild.
So began the amazing story
of 'Born Free'.

FSC becomes CES

In 1962 with income beginning to flow in from the sale of her books, Joy established the Elsa Wild Animal Appeal - a charity registered in the UK. In 1966 Columbia Pictures released the internationlly acclaimed film 'Born Free' which told the story of Elsa - the hand-reared orphan lion cub - which Joy released back to the wild and which subsequently brought her new litter of cubs back to show her foster mother. Later Joy brought up orphan leopard and cheetah which in turn gave rise to other popular books - 'Queen of Shaba' and 'The Spotted Sphinx'.

Joy Adamson passionately believed young Kenyans should have the chance to learn about their unique wildlife heritage and achieving this became the prime objective of the Trust. So in 1989 the Field Study Centre (FSC) was established with new buildings a short distance from the Lodge, her former home.

In September 2014 we celebrated 25 years of teaching Kenyan students and teachers to care for their environment. Guest speakers were two former Centre Directors - Henry Ndede and Margaret Otieno. The fact that Henry is now Kenya Country Programme Advisor at UNEP and Margaret is Director of the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya is testament to the impact that Elsamere has had on so many of those who spent time here. By now the Trust's education programme had established an enviable reputation for environmental education throughout East Africa. In March 2015 the Field Study Centre changed its name to the Centre for Education in Sustainability (CES).

Our work now goes far beyond field studies and research on the ecology of the lake. Whilst still supporting the Trust's traditional role working with Kenya Wildlife Services to conserve biodiversity and protect habitats, the scope of the Centre's work is now centered on several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recently launched by UNEP (the United Nations Environment Programme).

The increasing problems resulting from climate change, loss of biodiversity, forest destruction, inadequate waste disposal, food insecurity, and water shortages, are all contributing to yet more environmental degradation and, for some, reduced life expectancy. Kenya's rapidly growing population is putting ever more pressure on its limited natural resources so CES is committed to thinking globally, but acting locally, not just saving wildlife and protecting forests, but planting trees, supporting sustainable agriculture, preventing pollution, cleaning up communities, encouraging recycling and providing renewable energy.

Sustainable practices are designed to help ourselves and the world while keeping the future in mind.
Sustainability means granting the Earth the ability to endure
and with a sustainable mindset,
we can ensure that respect for the planet and respect for humanity
will continue long after we have departed.

Allie Sibole

Elsa on George's LandRover


Joy named the lioness Elsa, and the story of how she eventually brought her cubs back to her foster mother and her book 'Born Free' become an international best seller translated into more than
30 languages.

In 1966 Columbia Pictures released the award winning film 'Born Free'. Fifty years later Joy's legacy continues through the work of the
Elsa Conservation Trust.

Centre for Education in Sustainability, P.O.Box 1497-20117, South Lake Road,Naivasha, Kenya
Tel: +254 (0)50 2021247    Mobile +254 (0)726 443151    Fax: +254 (0)50 2021248    Email: susan@elsatrust.com