Amidst the COVID19 pandemic and restrictions, with great precaution by observing health safety measures, there are great opportunities to be happy and appreciate the beauty of nature which has always been my best way to spend my free time. I am a nature enthusiast and today I would like to share with you what inspired my passion.
It all started way back in 2003 when I was in standard four, this was after my mum who was a teacher at Nyagidha Primary School in Homa-Bay attended a Wildlife Clubs of Kenya teacher’s training workshop on environmental education at the WCK Western region offices in Kisumu near Impala sanctuary. After the training, my mum started a school forest both at the school and at our home which was not as easy as Homa-bay is an ASAL area and is mostly dry. To ensure that the trees she planted at our home grew, we had to fetch water from the lake which was nearly one kilometer away in the morning and evening. On Sundays and during the school holidays, I was always tasked with the responsibility of maintaining our tree fences to prevent goats and cattle from destroying the trees.
In high school I joined the environmental club, our school principal was a senior biology teacher and had great interest in botany. He was always at the forefront in supporting our tree planting initiatives at the school. I was always in love with nature but nature but absolutely NO idea of the career opportunities in it leave alone the courses that I could register for if I could be able to join university. In high school we had a career guiding department but just like most other student in that age, I did not seek guidance on the steps that I would need to pursue my dream.
Unfortunately, I was not able to meet the required grade to join University under government sponsorship. My dreams were shuttered but I was lucky as my parents had my back. I shared with them my interests in nature and environmental studies and they helped in getting a college entry at the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) to pursue a Diploma in Environmental Management. From my first day at the institution, I felt that I was where I needed to be. The school environment was amazing coupled with amazing modules, and periodic day trips. The best moments were week-long regional camping trips that we had once per semester and practical sessions of the “Survival Techniques Module” where we had to hike for more than forty kilometers in Hells Gate National Park, climb Mount Longonot, and do solo nights coupled with swimming and many other sessions on bushman-ship survival skills.
The institution played a great role in boosting my passion and knowledge in environmental issues and from then, my goal was that every step that I took would lead me towards making a difference for nature and more so getting an opportunity to influence others into realize its beauty and importance in order to give back to nature in their own way. In my professional and academic pursuit, I joined the University of Eldoret pursuing a BSc. Natural Resources Management to enhance my knowledge and skills in conservation. After my bachelors, I job hunted for long before I got an opportunity for part time work (at most two weeks long between months) with a consultancy firm in Kenya that worked on Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development as a research assistant or enumerator in Kisumu and Homa-bay counties. My job entailed traversing villages across the counties, identifying respondents, acquiring consent, conducting qualitative and quantitative data collection and giving feedback. This gave me an opportunity to travel, gain much knowledge on various environmental issues affecting development and the measures various recommendations given towards finding solutions.
In mid-2018 after several applications, I got an interview invitation call for an internship position at WildlifeDirect, a Kenyan-based NGO I had been following its TV programs and I had fallen in love with them for running a successful campaign against the elephant poaching crisis in Kenya. I was in Kisumu when I received the call and the interview was scheduled for the next day at the organization’s offices in Nairobi, a distance of over 350 km so I had to travel overnight. I was so excited when I was informed that I had passed the interview and I would join the great team in running a Kenya-wide conservation education program. It meant learning, connecting with nature, travelling and meeting amazing people across the country.
In 2020, COVID 19 virus hit the world and this led to a global shift in running activities by working from home since our work involved working with schools which had to be closed in March, followed by containment and lockdowns to minimize spread of the virus. Our last work trip before the first COVID19 case in Kenya was in late February when we took a pupil who had won an essay competition for a five day trip to the Kenyan coastal town, Malindi.
I loved field work, traveling, hiking and camping, working from home without these for months was a bit of a challenge. My remedy has been to go for morning runs or walks to keep myself fit during the week before work and once in a while over the weekends, I do invite a friend or relative to go out for nature walks or visit enjoy natures beauty. This was after I realized that most of my close friends and family members had never had little opportunity to explore and experience the amazing values of green spaces within Nairobi and saw during my free time, I take them to visit parks, forest hikes, cycling and zip-lining experiences. In this way, I hope to change the perception of those around me towards nature.
My current greatest career ambition is to enhance on my research, proposal writing and fundraising skills as part of my career development. Within the next five years, I intend to pursue a Master’s of Science in Environmental Education or MSc. In Conservation Education to enhance my knowledge and skills. This will also broaden my ability to expound on my content creation on conservation education and research skills. As a qualified conservation education, I will be able to work towards bridging the gap between development, culture and conservation towards ensuring that public members are appreciative and taking positive actions for nature.
Currently, I work at WildlifeDirect, a Kenyan Based Conservation Organization as a Conservation Education Assistant in running a Kenya-wide conservation education program with the goal of equipping the younger generation with knowledge in conservation in realizing the importance of nature and inspiring them to take action for nature.
“For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive. In this century he has to realize that in order to survive he has to protect it.” Jacques-Yves Cousteau Here we celebrate the unsung wildlife heroes in the grassroots doing remarkable work to conserve our wildlife heritage, Get to learn about wildlife from a ranger/ ecologist in Kenya a freelance eco-traveler, experience the diverse cultures and African heritage from the natives and take an adventure to new destinations to learn about rare attractions that are hardly talked about and to top it all up some of the best wildlife photographs that will make you reconnect to your wild side appreciate everything around us and fall in love with the natural world, because “It is not enough to love the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it.” Edward Abbey
Our wildlife, our responsibility. When it comes to standing up for our wildlife it’s better to be outspoken than unspoken.