Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Roles at NAAEE:30 Under 30
Conservation Education Enthusiast
Francisca is a passionate conservation educator working towards a future where communities live in harmony with biodiversity.
How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?
I have been privileged to work with primary school pupils of all ages through a variety of projects. At Action for Cheetahs in Kenya, I joined as an intern of the education department with the main role of assisting with their Cheetah Curriculum workbook, where it was a pleasure to see the pupils yearning to know more about cheetahs. It was also exciting to have our Cheetah Club group start small and then have a whole school want to join the Cheetah Club, and to have most students volunteer to nurture trees planted during the International Cheetah Day. Over 75% of their trees have survived to maturity!
I am particularly encouraged to hear teachers and parents ask me about what it takes to be a conservationist, based on what they hear from their pupils at home and in school about their wish to join this field.
Tell us about your journey to where you are today.
Growing up, all I knew was a polluted environment, open sewers, and air pollution. A field trip to the National Museums of Kenya changed my life forever. I saw a better environment. A less noisy and greener area. The dinosaur statue and the story behind it. I knew that I never wanted to see another species go extinct in my lifetime.
I knew that I loved green spaces and would do anything in my capacity to protect and restore them. I also hoped to get some land and grow a forest when I grow up. This way, I personally experienced the impact that conservation education can make in an individual's life.
What keeps you hopeful for the future?
The fact that our generation has become more vocal about the environment and sustainability.
What are you happiest doing?
I am happiest connecting to the earth by planting trees.