The Small Project supports Kenyan researchers at the Mpala Research Centre in the Laikipia region of Central Kenya, with the goal to promote the conservation of Kenya’s wildlife through education.

Mpala Research Centre

Originally part of Mpala Ranch, Mpala Research Centre was founded in 1989 by the then-owner of the land, George Small. George loved visiting Kenya for its wildlife and its people. He wanted to help preserve the land and the wildlife for future generations of Kenyans, partly for their intrinsic cultural value but also because he believed that one of the pillars of Kenya’s economy was wildlife tourism.

George also understood that if the wildlife, and the wild spaces necessary to support it, was to survive the local inhabitants needed to see and benefit from the inherent value of the game. And so it then became important to understand in a comprehensive way the relationships between the indigenous people, their way of life and their traditions, and the wildlife. Thus was born the Mpala Research Centre.

A living laboratory, Mpala is one of the most successful and important facilities of its kind in Africa. Hundreds of researchers from all over the world go there to study and learn how best to promote sustainable relationships between humans and wildlife.

But places like Mpala are not inexpensive to operate. Visiting researchers must pay fees for room and board, technical support, field guides, vehicles and vehicle support, and so on, totaling approximately $1,500 (CAD) per month .

While those coming from universities in the developed world are able to access the financial resources necessary for an extended stay, too often talented Kenyans find this impossible. The goal of The Small Project is to help bridge this gap by providing Kenyan researchers with financial assistance to cover their expenses.