10 Amboseli Community Scout recruits head out for training with Kenya Wildlife Service
Like a vehicle with a running engine and driver’s feet on the clutch and accelerator pedals, was the eagerness of the team of ten OOGR [Olgulului-Ololarashi Group Ranch] community scouts headed to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Law Enforcement Academy (LEA) in Manyani.
The ten had an interactive meeting with Steve Njumbi IFAW EA Head of Programs together with his team, Community Liaison Officer Bernard Tulito and Field Program Officer Evan Mkala on 5th March 2014 in Amboseli.
Steve stated to the recruits: “IFAW is committed to training Olgulului-Ololarashi Community game scouts. Last year we trained ten and this year you are the beneficiaries of the training.”
He reiterated that
“IFAW is in Amboseli to secure space for elephants while benefitting both KWS and the local people. Training the scouts is one such benefit to the OOGR community who in turn are expected to protect elephants and other wildlife in their midst. Out of this IFAW expects to have three winners – the local community, the wildlife and, tourism investors.
Once trained, you are expected to come back and help IFAW attain these three wins. To attain this, you must have respect for three entities – respect for authority, respect for fellow human beings and respect for wildlife. This is also in tune with IFAW’s vision and mission in taking care of the welfare of both animals and people.”
The training in Manyani takes three months and is a gruelling paramilitary training for wildlife security officers. The training instils knowledge, discipline, bush craft and survival skills. It confirms that IFAW is committed to turning OOGR community games scouts into a professional boots-on-the-ground force that secures the habitat and earns a living through from preserving wildlife in the Amboseli ecosystem.
The meeting was also addressed by Moses Sinkoi the Operational Commander of OOGR scouts and Leshinka Sereu OOGR Senior Sergeant. Jackson Sitonik, one of the scouts who successfully completed the training in the previous year, offered valuable lessons to the recruits on what to expect in Manyani. Jackson and his teammates have done IFAW proud and continue to raise IFAW’s flag in circles of wildlife protection.
Each scout promised to uphold the lessons learnt that morning and focus on the three wins by adhering to the three respects. As a sign of unity and commitment to the mission ahead the recruits proceeded to share a meal with the IFAW team.
It costs on average 2,500 US dollars to train one community scout for three months at the KWS Law Enforcement Academy in Manyani. The training has a significant impact in wildlife conservation hence a need to have all community scouts trained.
Any support IFAW can get towards this will go a long way in having a professional community ranger force in Amboseli. Help us secure Amboseli elephants and their habitat by training one community scout.
For more information about IFAW efforts to protect wildlife around the world, visit our campaign page.