We have worked with young conservationists throughout the school holidays, connecting, informing, sharing, promoting the work they do.  Young conservationists who are all activists in their own different ways, inspiring and influencing their peers, parents and communities and making concrete differences, some lobbying, some greening a neighbourhood, organising for sustainable waste management, planting trees or changing lifestyle decisions in their family or policies in their schools.   Our young conservationists have been enabled and encouraged by joining environment or wildlife clubs or through youth conservation networks like the World Youth Wildlife Summit.   As they leave school or college, we want them to remain involved and contributing to conservation and sustainable ways.  Whether they go into finance, marketing, events, agriculture, mechanics, design or IT – it is important to know that there is a always way to contribute to conservation!  The new edition of our PACE Careers in Conservation module, excerpts below and in subsequent posts, builds on the first edition, with more inspiring examples of how people have made interesting careers in aspects of conservation we may not have thought about.

Simon Mwangangi – Educational technology, Kenya.

Simon played a big part in our Next Generation holiday programme by helping us to link up kids in different remote parts of Africa.

Simon is a ‘coder’ at heart, a coder who loves wildlife, wants kids to have opportunity, and knows they will be better able to help if they get good education.  Simon set up the Digital Literacy Programme at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.  It provides computers, tablets, content and training in 23 schools around the Wildlife Conservancy. It has meant that teachers and pupils in all these schools know how to use computers, and have a much better education and success rate than they otherwise would.  The schools and the Digital Literacy Programme are all sponsored by the Lewa and its conservation partners.  Simons work won the 2018 Google Impact Challenge.

Simon has an interesting background. He had to work to save money for his school fees, and when there developed a passion for wildlife, technology, and education.  After completing school rather than a scholarship, he looked for an apprenticeship, to learn about technology. He enrolled in free tech and pedagogy courses on-line and practiced what he learned while building the Lewa program.  Simon lead a team that worked on equipment repair and maintenance, a reading programme, digital content development, training and monitoring and evaluation.  His own work included planning the way forward for the program, preparing budgets and supervising. Simon still helps Lewa, but now works for another organisation supporting conservation education in Uganda and Tanzania as well as across Kenya.  He helps design new technology through partnerships with tech companies and develops curriculum in partnership with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum development – exciting roles that span many sectors!

Read more about Simon and his work on page 26, PACE Careers in Conservation.