The two year Conservation Leadership Programme began in 2012 with the initiative to train young enthusiastic Namibian graduates to become future leaders in the Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) sector. Since the beginning of the programme, nine interns have been mentored, trained and found jobs in NGOs, private sector, the MET, while others have pursued further studies. In 2016 the CLP programme welcomes two new faces, Annastasia Naiteta and Mekondjo Hitila. New interns means new opportunities, ideas and tests.
Annastasia, a young Namibian lady, joins the CLP with a National Diploma in Regional and Rural Development and is currently awaiting graduation for her Bachelor’s degree in the same field at Namibia University of Science and Technology. She was born in Rundu but originally comes from Tuguva in Kavango West and speaks English, Rukwangali and Afrikaans. As a child she loved everything involving nature and recalls attending the Cheetah Conservation programmes at primary school, this was the beginning of her love for conservation. She worked as an intern for six months at the Erongo Regional Council as a rural community liaison officer in the Directorate of Planning and Development Division Rural Services. The internship allowed her to build on her communication skills while interacting with people from different backgrounds. Her passion is to work towards development of communities while protecting the country’s fauna and flora. She sees herself as a hardworking, diligent, determined and focused young lady, who could positively contribute to the CBNRM programme by practically applying her theoretical knowledge.
Mekondjo joins the NACSO team with a diploma in Regional and Rural Development from Namibia University of Science and Technology and will subsequently graduate with a Bachelor degree in the same field this year. As a highly motivated young Namibian who speaks both English and Oshiwambo, he believes in innovation and continuous learning. The six month internship he had at the City of Windhoek as a Community Development Officer helped him better understand community needs in informal settlements. He also took part in the Summer Drylands Programme 19, a two months Practical field training research methodology course conducted by the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia. Mekondjo was the Secretary for Gender and Social Welfare NANSO at NUST and the secretary of Information, Publicity and Sponsorship for the NUST debating society. His love for history subjects initiated him to love debating, which led him to travel for debating tournaments in South Africa. He is confident in his abilities and educational background in performing exceptionally well within the CBNRM sector.
NACSO is excited and welcomes the new interns, keenly taking them under its wings, to groom and mentor them in becoming the future of CBNRM in Namibia.