This week Big Life is joining fellow conservation organizations in celebrating the brilliant work done by female rangers - past, present, and future - who have been proving to the world that conservation is everyone’s business.
In Maasai culture, like so many things, conservation and anti-poaching work has been dominated by men, while women are raised to become dutiful wives and caring mothers. And while many of Big Life’s 12 female rangers are wonderful wives and mothers, they are also bucking the trend. With their determination and fearlessness, these women are not only becoming part of the solution to protect Amboseli’s wildlife, but they are also blazing a trail for future female leaders.
One such trailblazer is Constable Susan Lemomo, who was honored as a Disney Conservation Hero last November – an award provided by the Disney Conservation Fund that recognizes the heroic efforts and dedication of people around the world working to conserve wildlife and protect wild places.
In addition to her work as a ranger, she is one of the core instructors at Big Life’s Amboseli Ranger Training Academy and has helped to train more than 100 rangers. When Susan started, there were hardly any female rangers, let alone female ranger instructors, and she was one of the first Big Life instructors to train other female ranger recruits - something she is rightly very proud of.
She adds, “In my recent position as a ranger instructor, I am seeing more and more women learn how to become rangers which is exciting for me. From my community, not many women receive a salary like I do, and I am happy to be an example to other women and girls to prove that we can support our families just as well as men can. I use my salary to support my three children and my mother.”
Well done, Susan - and the rest of our female rangers! You are an inspiration to us all.
Photo: Josh Clay