Catching up

It have been little while since my last entry here. There has been a lot that’s taken place in the Chile to Kili realm, and even for me myself behind this initiative. For this post, I’d like to talk about some of the people I’ve been meeting back home. One of the tasks during this preparation break is to meet students who could be potentially offered Chile to Kili scholarships. This is not an easy task since there are so many passionate and determined youth for these few opportunities, which seem to be like just a drop of water in the driest desert.

 

For Chile to Kili initiative goals of conservation education, we try to focus to deliver these opportunities to those who come from the boundaries of natural reserves and those who need the help the most. I started traveling in the coast and other remote part of north-eastern Tanzania which also foster lots of natural reserves. The challenge for most of these young people is a lack of clear direction – most Tanzanians don’t have career goals, or know what they want to do beyond “just getting a job”; this is a consequence of a rote-learning colonial-style educational system that is good at producing clerks. Others in the remote areas – like those who come from pastoralist communities, but who play a huge role in conservation – are the least educated, and may even require short course of language before the naturalist or ecology training.

 

I was lucky enough to have grown up in a place where I could fall in love with the natural world and wildlife of Tanzania. It’s a disappointment to me now that I’m back that I find that so many of the young people here who even get opportunities to study conservation or work in wildlife areas don’t appreciate the chance and prefer to live in the city, and don’t understand the importance of the wild world that tourists come to see here.

 

I met Lilian Mremi through other Conservation Resource Centre members. Lilian has a deep passion in wildlife and environmental conservation – . She was born 22 years ago in Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania. She grew up and there and was educated in public schools both primary and secondary level. She recently completed her Technician Certificate in Wildlife Management at the College of African Wildlife Management (Mweka) and holding a one year certificate.

 

Due to great desire of environmental and wildlife habitats conservation, also community development through educating them on sustainable utilization of environment and its resources, she decided to study wildlife management at Mweka college of African wildlife management. However due to financial difficulties, she opted to work as a teacher at Mwika secondary school after completing A-level studies at Majengo Secondary in 2010. She engaged in teaching Biology and Chemistry subjects for a year and managed to save some of college fees to MWEKA and the rest of it was donated by family friends and relatives.

 

As connecting with her career goal “to live in healthy and sustainable environment and see a responsible community in environment and wildlife conservation”.  Lilian is asking for a scholarship through Chile To Kili to help her pursue a diploma course in wildlife management at Mweka.

 

This scholarship will help her fulfill her career dream; the education that she will obtain at Mweka College of African wildlife management will improve her understanding and widen her knowledge on wildlife, their ecology and environment in general. Her future career would be a focus on working with community – especially youth – on formation of small groups in every village that will be voluntary working together to protect and restore environment, wildlife habitats and their ecology.  The skills obtained by the youths from these small groups will build and enhance their leadership abilities and change community perception and attitudes towards conservation.

 

Two other possible candidates are two Maasai youths – Songali Kicheche and Loio Mandati.

 

Songali and Loio are from the Ngorongoro Crater area,their village  is situated in the second crater, Empakai (Empakai village). Neither of them were able to go beyond primary school. They have managed to overcome many challenges. Growing up in the pastoral community and now have to pursue their life and career in the modern economy is one of their main challange.  Songai and Loilo have been living in Arusha city for a while not because they like to abandon their life in the natural pristine home land, they need to be here in order to find work,  they are now Kilimanjaro porters. This is very difficult job even for those who are more accustomed to manual labour. I admire the determination of these young fellas, I visited their homeland. There are good chances for these youth to realize their potential of their dreams of becoming naturalist and guides in their respective area which attract hundred of tourists as well as students and researchers.

 

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