It is always exciting to welcome new faces to the Lion Guardians family! Since the beginning of the year, we have hired two new Guardians to help conserve lions and preserve communities in our operating area.
Lankoi Partoti Mancha is a 24-year old member of the Iltuati age-set [the current group of morans, or warriors]. As a leader of his age-set, he has long been active organizing community meetings and ceremonies, and his energy and charisma in these roles has endeared him to his peers and elders. Lankoi is the Guardian for the Esiteti zone, which borders Amboseli National Park. Even though Lankoi is relatively new to this work, our Office Manager Merishi notes that he is extremely proactive: “in the afternoons, he climbs Noompopong Hill and uses his binoculars – a gift that he received from his friend – to monitor livestock movements in the grazing land. Whenever he sees lost livestock, he immediately goes to drive them home.”
Our second new addition is 22-year old Kutata Kurrambe, also from the Iltuati age-set. Kutata is known in his community for his great discipline. He was recently hired as the Guardian for the Eluai zone, a very expansive area located at the boundary of Olgulului/Olalarashi Group Ranch and the neighboring Matapato community. Kutata enjoys tracking lions along the hills in Olgulului, and he has already proven to be very skilled. Merishi praised Kutata’s foresight with regard to conflict mitigation, mentioning that “he always takes the initiative of notifying the herders about the location of lions in order to prevent any possible attack on livestock.”
We are thrilled to have these two passionate warriors protecting local lions and communities, and we are proud to help improve their livelihoods in return. Kutata had dropped out of school at grade two, when his family was no longer able to pay his school fees. While he became a disciplined and respected herder, Kutata had not been formally employed before this year. Lankoi never attended school at all, and spent his entire life herding his family’s livestock before getting the chance to work with Lion Guardians. Both the new Guardians are already putting their employment to good use; Kutata is particularly appreciative of the monthly food provision (thanks to Spice World Ltd), and Lankoi used his first two months’ salary to buy three goats and pay school fees for his younger siblings.
Kutata and Lankoi are both pleased to be able to live and work in their home areas, since this gives them a chance to work closely with their own communities. We are looking forward to continuing to share their stories and successes!
If you would like to sponsor Lankoi or Kutata (or any of our Guardians) or support our work in another way, you can find more information here.