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The women with dreams of becoming Cobras

As the Community Rhino Conservation Initiative grows and develops, so has community appetite! Women have shown an eagerness to get more proactively involved with the Cobras Community Wildlife Protection Unit and their work with CRCI. There is an opportunity to offer women the same possibilities to get employment, learn new skills, and work to protect their local wildlife as a means of improving the lives of their families and fellow community members in the area. Their work as part of the Unit would benefit it in a great number of ways and local women are an integral part of ensuring the long-term success of the Community Rhino Conservation Initiative.

Our mission is to inspire and empower women in Tsholotsho to become Community Wildlife Protection scouts and add value to the existing Cobras Community Wildlife Protection Unit which operates on communal land around Hwange.

Our vision is a consolidated unit of both male and female Cobra scouts that works efficiently and with dedication to the cause, as a means of providing employment opportunities, reinforcing positive conservation attitudes and generating socio-economic development across the area.

Women would be an extremely valuable addition to the Cobras Community Wildlife Protection Unit and could specifically contribute to certain areas including intelligence gathering, surveillance, dog handling, data recording and analysis, conservation and environmental education (school and community visits), technology deployment and management (camera traps, GPS etc)...

At our next scout recruitment, women will be proactively targeted and encouraged to apply through an outreach programme highlighting opportunities and benefits of working as a (female) Cobras Community Wildlife Protection scout. Their integration into the Unit will require some logistical developments (targeted recruitment, infrastructure, specialist training modules, uniforms etc) as well as funding to ensure the process is done as successfully and sustainably as possible.

Stay tuned to find out more!

This post is shared in celebration of World Female Ranger Week from 23-30 June 2024, championed by the NGO How Many Elephants. Find out more  here

In the meantime, meet some of the women with dreams of becoming Cobras...

“I am a single mother with three children, I support my parents and my nephew also. I have hopes of getting employed, working hard and being independent. Learning new skills is very important and I want to try to help my area, its people and its animals.”

  Sisi, 28 years old, Ngamo village

“I am the mother of a young girl aged 4 years old and I want to inspire her, and other girls, to get jobs and work with the local wildlife, the same wildlife that attracts hundreds of people from around the world to the area. Teaching girls to have dreams that can better their lives and those of people around them is very important.”

Rina, 26 years old, Nganyana village

“ Women rely on men in the villages and I want to work very hard to earn my own money and support my family myself. Independence is very important to me. I want to help reduce the numbers of poachers in the area and better protect wildlife. I’m a fast learner and thinker and would love to learn from the Cobras.”

  Sitha, 30 years old, Kapanyana village

“The Cobras play a vital role as they are protecting the only rhino on community land. I want to join the Cobras and be a strong female role model in the village. I am so determined and disciplined, have got practical knowledge growing up here in the bush and have developed a strong love for nature. ”

  Sibonginkosi, 26 years old, Ngamo village

“There is a poor level of education in these rural areas and women are often thought of as too aggressive and are not taken seriously. Animals should be the priority of everyone given where we live. I would like to be part of the Cobras Community Wildlife Protection unit, I’ve got qualities that would make me well suited and I would love to learn new skills. I think this will help build a better team to best protect our wildlife.”

  Precious, 30 years old, Zikwakwene village

For more information about the Community Rhino Conservation Initiative, contact us  here  


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