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In August, Lewa hosted the third annual conservation leadership program for international students. Nine boys and girls from the US came to Kenya for two weeks and immersed themselves in everything Lewa, engaging in just about every department from anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring to various community development programs. The students spent two days at Elsa School planting trees and installing a water tank while learning about the importance of sustainable water management. Another highlight from this year’s trip was witnessing – and getting out of the way – as a herd of elephants came through the underpass to get to Mt. Kenya.

Now that the students are back home, they are ready to be Lewa’s young advocates and tell the story of community-based conservation. Some students will be speaking about their experience at their schools and within their communities, while others are working on plans to initiate fundraising schemes that give back to Lewa. We look forward to seeing what their young, creative minds come up with.

Here are a few quotes from this year’s students.

“This trip was different than any other teen trip I know of. We were truly immersed in Lewa and all it has to offer. Instead of just doing work while we were in Kenya, we learned all about conservation so that we can take that knowledge and inspiration from Lewa and use it to fuel more support back home. This trip taught me a lot, but the most valuable was learning that conservations and sustainability are what I want to do in my life. Getting to learn all this while surrounded by a million different animals just made everything better.” – Kate Ditrani

“Lewa Young Conservationists Leadership Program was undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We were able to view the stunning wildlife firsthand and absorb Lewa’s breathtaking scenery; interact with local Kenyan students at schools and be fully immersed in Kenyan culture to gain an entirely new perspective; learn about the inner workings of wildlife conservation and all the different branches it takes to run an organization as successful as Lewa. This program incorporated all these elements perfectly, giving us a well-rounded view of all that Lewa has to offer and inspiring us to take action ourselves. By giving us a foundation for understanding the fundamentals of conservation, this program taught me that being involved with conservation doesn’t necessarily mean that you must solely focus on conservation—you can integrate your passions (whether they be research, marketing, education, operations, or medicine, just to name a few) into conservation, helping both people and wildlife. Furthermore, just soaking in the beauty and grandeur of Lewa’s wildlife gave me indescribable joy and awe. Lewa’s Young Conservationists Leadership Program truly was an opportunity of a lifetime.” – Gabrielle Day

“The trip was a completely new experience for me, and I know it was for a lot of others. My knowledge of conservation was improved greatly because of this program. The trip has the perfect balance between game drives and work. I especially liked when we went to Elsa Secondary School and did things for and with the students there. I have learned valuable information from this program and wholly recommend it to anyone who is interested in conservation.” – John Penry

“The time I spent at Lewa almost feels like it was from another lifetime. As I continue on my adventures, I will forever remember my first being on Lewa. Thank you for giving me the greatest adventure yet.” – Katarra Smelley

Visit http://www.honeyguidesafaris.com/young-conservationist-internship/ for more information.

Email Kate Spencer at honeyguidesafaris@gmail.com for an application and an interview.

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