Earlier in April, Denver Zoo shared a free viewing of the film “Girl Rising.” The film highlights the stories of nine girls living in the developing world, striving to reach beyond their circumstances and overcome nearly insurmountable odds to achieve their dreams. The Zoo felt it was important to share this film, as it reflects our dedication to helping women and children in an effort to support wildlife.
Following the film Denver Zoo shared a presentation about the Zoo’s Women in Conservation program in Kenya. Denver Zoo leads holistic conservation programs across the globe, including in Mongolia, Peru, Botswana and Kenya, to protect animals by developing an awareness and capacity to help local people protect their own wildlife. In all of these locations, the Zoo recognizes that conservation initiatives can only be successful with broad community support, and that women and girls make up a vital portion of that support. Moreover, women bring valuable knowledge about collecting and conserving water, collecting seeds and maintaining soil quality, planting trees, building community, and other topics that are integral to the success of conservation projects.
In northern Kenya, Denver Zoo created and supports a number of programs, including the Women in Conservation program with the Mpala Research Centre and Daraja Academy. Both of these programs engage Kenyan youth in relevant wildlife conservation issues.
In order to build capacity for Kenyan women to contribute to wildlife conservation and the well-being of their communities, Denver Zoo established the Women in Conservation program in 2012 with the Mpala Research Centre and Daraja Academy. This multi-faceted, community-based conservation program developed a framework for secondary school-aged girls from around Kenya to become involved in wildlife conservation through hands-on field days, lectures by conservation professionals, and environmental internships. The Women in Conservation program provides opportunities for young women to explore leadership and scholarship in the areas of biodiversity conservation, science, and women’s empowerment.
Many young women in Kenya are unable to afford to continue with their education after primary school. Denver Zoo supports the young women at Daraja Academy because of their dedication to continue their educations and share their knowledge through their communities. They each have a dream for their future—including some who want to become ecologists. By continuing their educations, these young ladies bring a promise for a brighter future to their communities.
Your support can help Denver Zoo’s conservation programs across the globe, including these programs in Kenya. You are always able to make a secure contribution through our website. When you make your donation, select “Conservation Fund” and then note in the comments section that you want your contribution to go towards one of these projects.