Adventure of a Lifetime (part 2)
In my last blog post I didn’t have time (or space) to talk about the IFAW delegates and their incredible achievements (message me if you want to get in contact with any of them). I also didn’t get around to the thank yous OR tell you what I’m taking away from the experience. So, here it goes…
A complete list of all of the delegates and where they are from/based:
Abidas Ash (Belize) Adam Miller (Indonesia) Alexey Zadubovskiy (Russia) Alfred Mepukori (Kenya) Cécile Tang (France/ China) Chingchi Itihada (Bangladesh) Connel Bradwell (Canada) Daniela Alfaro (Peru) Deborah Appiah-Danquah (Ghana) Giang Cao (Vietnam) Josephine Crouch (England) Kataya Barrett (Australia) Kennedy Mulenga (Zambia) Knowledge Vingi (Zimbabwe) Mareen Esmeier (Germany) Margaret Nalubega (Uganda) Megan Reed (United States) Meshack Tshingwe (South Africa) Mingyu Liu (China) Olga Esipova (Uzbekistan) Olivia Taylor (South Africa) Paulinus Kristianto (Indonesia) Rahaf Al Saif (United Arab Emirates) Razan Nimir (Sudan) Samson Lerosion (Kenya) Shavez Cheema (Brunei) Stefan Knights (Guyana) Swetha Stotra Bhashyam (India) Thobeka Dlamini (South Africa) Thomas King (Australia) Thuto Moyei (Botswana) Vincent Naude (Namibia) Xolile Myira (South Africa) Xianshuang ‘Edwina’ Zhang (China)
Mingyu, Daniela, Olga, Thobeka, Connel, Olivia, Cecile and Rahaf
I would like to send a HUGE thank you to IFAW and the Disney Conservation Fund for sponsoring and running such a phenomenally successful event. It truly has been life changing for me. Other thank yous go to the staff for their incredible support, wisdom and guidance – if I named them all, there would be a longer list than the delegates!
What I learnt:
Interestingly, one of the most important lessons that I learnt is understanding the link between environmental conservation and community engagement. If you want a community to be enthusiastic and involved in creating positive environmental change you have to offer them a better and more exciting alternative. However, I also surprisingly learnt that sometimes asking for wisdom can undermine your ideas and confidence. Some of the older people that I have reached out to have been very pessimistic and don’t have the energy to problem solve like young people can. Be ballsy, young people have all the time in the world to correct mistakes.
There is a myriad of other things that I learnt but I don’t really feel like engaging with now…
the patriarchy is still rampant
a liberal constitution propagates naivety
staying connected/ effective networking
Lastly…what comes next for the IFAW youth forum crew?
We are currently working on something exciting and international. For now it is a surprise but I can tell you what “it” is called and show you the logo…da da da daaaaa “Youth For Wildlife Conservation”
And I present to you our fabulous logo!