I am Jacob Dadi, Field Coordinator for Amara Conservation. I was born and raised in Birikani village in Voi sub-county, Taita/Taveta County in Kenya. Brought up in a poor family, we are four siblings, two girls and two boys. Being the firstborn taught me to be caring and responsible for the young ones.
I was schooled in Voi, and while in primary school was appointed the class prefect from class four to class seven. I always wanted to be a doctor since my childhood, because I was very much impressed whenever I went to hospital and saw the doctors with their white coats, and was interested in working so I can be helping people. I liked being recognised everywhere I am for being helpful to people I meet, I was brought up in a very Christian way by obeying and fearing God.
Upon completion of my primary school... I stayed for some time before continuing with my education due to lack of school fees, but later I did my secondary education as a private student, my dream to be a doctor made me to push to this and achieve more in life. I was employed by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi in 2000 as an elephant keeper.
At the beginning it was a very challenging job, but after a while I was used to it and loved it much. I was moved to their desnaring department in 2002 and was transferred to Voi, we were the people who formed the Bura De-snaring Team, which was funded by Amara Conservation. I came to know Lori through this because she was coming to Voi and walking with us in the bush looking for snares, she also came with film equipment and we would visit schools and communities with her and show films.
Doing film shows was very interesting, because we were providing very important information to people, which they lacked and would not get anywhere else. I always asked myself lots of questions while doing desnaring, because we would walk in the bush every day and retrieve like 200 snares, sometimes without arresting a single poacher, was this helpful to us?
Or was giving them information the best thing to do? For sure I found Amara was doing the best and most crucial work in the community than any other person, as the saying goes that “the person who teaches you how to fish has really helped you more than the person who just feeds you” because once one knows how to fish you can feed yourself.
Amara Conservation with its film showing and conservation education works like teaching the fisherman. We help people to understand and own wildlife and all other resources and once they understand this, they don’t want to do harm to those any longer, they protect them.
For these reasons I quit working with Sheldrick and joined Amara Conservation full time in 2007, while I had been working part time for Amara in the evenings since 2003. My belief and prayer is that Amara will grow so it can reach many more people because we have been working in Tsavo some time but we have not been able to reach everyone.
There are many more areas to cover where people really need this information about conservation. Due to lack of information on conservation awareness people are doing a lot of wildlife and resource destruction without knowing the importance and benefits of these vital resources available to them.
I like what we are doing now under Lori’s Amara Conservation organization. Although I never became a doctor, I know that what I am doing is helping people in a very important way. I now help provide people with very crucial information about conservation for their own benefit, and once they see these benefits they are very happy. I love my work, I love Amara, and God bless Lori.
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