Communities often do not have the capacity to establish and develop initiatives on their own. In addition, there may be conflicts within a community or economic considerations that override conservation concerns. Communities therefore need allies and assistance. Poor education standards retards development of a society leading to communities depending on natural resources that cannot address their households needs. Lack of alternative sources of livelihoods has led to depletion of natural resources such as forests and marine resources. Communities living adjacent to these resources cause a lot of environmental destruction as they try to address their economic and social needs.
NEFOS works with communities through promotion of education for sustainable development. NEFOS encourages youth and school children to pursue education for social and economic development. To promote education at the community level, NEFOS fundraises to support bright students who perform well but cannot further their education due to poverty. Poverty, increasing population pressure, and lack of education and awareness, commonly result in over-fishing and illegal/destructive habits along the Kenyan coast.
The increasing destruction of these natural resources ultimately impacts negatively on the lives of the coastal communities, resulting in a cycle of poverty and environmental abuse. NEFOS works towards developing alternative income generating opportunities with the ultimate long term goal being to reduce pressure on natural resources to sustainable levels. With the introduction of income generating activities, the community will have direct sources of livelihood thus help reduce the level of poverty. NEFOS has helped initiate income generating activities to the community such as beekeeping and ecotourism development. NEFOS has conducted several capacity building workshops on organizational development to conservation groups around Mida creek and Marereni areas in Malindi district.