My name is Ignatius Davids and I work at Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) Namibia in the Education Department as an Environmental Educator and Tour guide. I grew up in Otjiwarongo, where CCF is situated, so as a youth we where always involved in and aware of the conservation education outreach projects that CCF ran in my hometown. Since then, I have always had a passionate drive to work for this organisation focusing on bringing conservation education lessons to school groups, and to young people out of school and all around Namibia.
I work with school groups that visit our Research Centre. My role is to help them learn more about the cheetah’s ecology e.g. its home ranges in Namibia, hunting patterns, the negative effects Human and Wildlife Conflict have on cheetahs and my favourite topic: understanding and appreciating what a significant role predators play in our natural environment.
Another aspect of my work is outreach. The CCF Outreach Programme was developed to give as many students as possible the opportunity to be able to learn about cheetahs and conservation. We have a monthly target of towns that we want to visit, and once we have identified a town we contact the schools within it to arrange a talk. These presentations are about 45 minutes long and focus on the importance of cheetahs, what roles predators play in our natural environment to keep it healthy and conservation education. All of the talks are aligned with the school in question’s curriculum.
This programme has been very successful and in 2017 we visited close to 8,400 students. These visits have had such a big impact on the learners, for as much as we would love for every child to visit the CCF Research and Education Centre, the reality is that not not all the schools are able to travel with their students to get there. This outreach is therefore also extremely helpful to the school. We hope to greatly increase our numbers of towns and schools visited for the Outreach Programme in 2018.
I am so immensely lucky and grateful to be able to work for, and with, an organisation that has inspired so many people to become agents of change. CCF not only educates these advocates about the degradation of our natural environment and what negative effects it has on our predators, but it also supports them in changing their livelihoods and helps them to become empowered through income generating projects.
My wish is that each and every person should discover a way in which they could become a champion for our wildlife and natural environment. The time for silence and looking the other way is long gone; lets speak up! The only way we can save this magnificent species is if we hold each others hands and work very hard towards
a common goal.
Lead Environmental Educator
Cheetah Conservation Fund