Get Involved in Community Initiatives
Service is at the heart of Treehouse philosophy. As a tree is one element within an ecosystem, so we are an element within our community. When we serve, contribute to the non-profit community projects in our area, and have policies that benefit the local community, so we grow.
Get involved in a Watamu community initiative whilst staying at Treehouse.
Turtle Watch and Local Ocean Conservation
Started by local residents in 1997, this not for profit organisation uses practical conservation, community involvement and development, education, research and campaigning to protect Kenya’s marine environment.
Situated less than five minutes walk from Treehouse, LOC rehabilitate turtles on-site and if you’re lucky you may be able to help them release one back into the ocean – a truly special experience.
The work of LOC is well worth supporting
Blue Bells School
Blue Bells school was started by a lady with a massive heart, who saw it as an injustice that children whose parents couldn’t afford school fees had to forego their education. As well as running the entire school, she puts her agricultural knowledge to use to try to make the school self-sufficient in food. Because of her, over 80 children are receiving kindergarten and primary education for free, as well as getting one full meal per day. Treehouse has assisted with a well and solar pump, and we buy fruits and vegetables from the school when they have extra.
Mida Creek Fishermen
For years, Treehouse has been running daily trips on Mida Creek for our guests. Mida is home to six fishing villages, mostly dependant on the days ‘catch’ for their livelihood. Fishermen go out with the tides - day or night - on canoes carved from mango trees or old windsurf boards, and very inadequate and unsafe equipment.
So Treehouse saw an opportunity to supply paddles and buoyancy devices to the fisherman from guests who are upgrading their equipment. If you have equipment that you no longer use, please bring it and donate it to the Mida Creek fishermen.
Crab Shack Restaurant and Community Project
Built on stilts in the mangrove forest, the Crab Shack Restaurant is community project where you get to enjoy the freshest fish and seafood from Mida Creek. All the proceeds go to helping the surrounding community flourish. Sunset is the best time to go and watch the sunset over the water with a cold drink. Book a water-edge table.
Community Yoga Class
We run a weekly yoga class in Dongo Kundu village - opposite Treehouse - on Sunday afternoons. Although the class is for the village community, all are welcome and it is a beautiful and peaceful setting. People come to energize and relax at the end of the weekend. This initiative is done in conjunction with the Africa Yoga Project, who gave us a scholarship to send one of our Team, Nicodemus, for yoga teacher training.
A Rocha and ASSETS:
Secondary School Scholarships
A Rocha Kenya has developed ASSETS (Arabuko-Sokoke Schools & Eco-Tourism Scheme) - a programme that provides secondary school scholarships. ASSETS meets the economic and social needs of the local communities, whilst promoting the conservation of two of Africa's most important ecosystems -Arabuko-Sokoke and the associated tidal inlet of Mida Creek.
Treehouse donates to Assets and provides internships when students finish their studies
Contact A Rocha and the Assets programme
Bio-Ken Snake Farm
One of the most interesting activities in Watamu is the incredible research centre and snake farm that houses the largest collection of snakes in East Africa. Bio-Ken is open to the public with an entrance fee of 1000/- for a fascinating guided tour of the 100+ species including snakes, tortoises, lizards and a chameleon.
Happy House - Children’s Home
Since 2011 Happy House has been providing a home to up to 100 orphaned, abandoned or neglected children. Happy House provides its children with a family home where they are safe and loved, and an outstanding education its schools.
Glass Recycling with Kitengela Glass and Anselm Hot Glass….
Treehouse has over 10,000 pieces of coloured glass embedded in the structure. These beautiful pieces catch the sunlight and add to the ‘sparkle’ and lightness of Treehouse.
All the pieces come from wine bottles, recycled from most of the big drinkers in Nairobi. The pieces are made at Kitengela and assembled into designs on site. Many glasses, plates and vases in Treehouse also comes from Kitengela. You can visit the glass factories outside Nairobi:
Beach Cleanup and Recycling
Some days our beaches are clean and white - but other days plastic washes up due to the epidemic of trash polluting our oceans. This is a problem that not only Watamu, but the whole of Kenya and the world faces. The Watamu community does a beach clean-up every Thursday and periodic major cleans.
During your stay here if you feel inspired to help the local eco system and community we encourage you to collect rubbish when you walk on the beach. Treehouse supplies bags that can be used for this purpose. What you collect will then be taken to ‘Eco World’ our local recycling centre
Arabuko Forest Projects
There are 50 villages that border the forest, and many organisations have been set up to help facilitate a harmonious relationship between the community and the forest. Treehouse supports the forest and projects that work on replacing illegal logging with sustainable income-generating projects like bee-keeping and production of high-quality honey.
Contact Friends of Arabuko Sokoke Forest (FoASF)
Contact Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Adjacent Dwellers Association
Local Food Purchasing
Treehouse buys locally any food that we can to support local farmers and businesses. People from the village bring coconuts and fresh produce. We buy our honey from the Arabuko Sokoke Forest, the proceeds of which directly help the Kipepeo Project to conserve the critical natural heritage for future generations. Our sugar-free jam is made from mangoes grown literally across the road from us in Watamu. Plants that have long been in use locally but now called superfoods like Neem, Moringa and Baobab powder are used in our cooking
Treehouse Team Yoga
The Treehouse Team has a yoga class every Tuesday at 3.30 pm and everyone is welcome to join. We have been doing this for over 4 years, and the benefits of a weekly class for the team are so many.
If you run a house or business in Watamu and would like your team to join us on a regular basis, please be in touch - a four week commitment is recommended.
World Peace Flame Foundation
The World Peace Flame is dedicated to achieving peace through education and practical support of grassroots peace initiatives. From medical camps to educational peace programmes for schools to peace monuments and events, the WPF Foundation has a powerful mission with a global vision. Treehouse shares this vision and draws inspiration from the World Peace Flame. At the highest point in Watamu the inscription “May all beings live in peace and may all beings find peace and joy in their hearts” is inscribed in our yoga room beam.
Tree Conservation and Sustainable Carving
Treehouse exists in one of the last plots in Watamu with the original forest, and was built upwards on land that had been previously cleared. We have not cut down a tree in the construction of Treehouse.
We encourage local carvers to use neem wood rather than mahogany and fully support carvers by buying lots of items made of sustainable wood.