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Jonathan’s Story

Jonathan Kang was the first child from his small village in Africa to finish high school, let alone attend University. His parents and grandparents all worked extra jobs to ensure his education.  Upon graduating from University, Jonathan visited friends in Cameroon.  While there, he came across the Limbe Wildlife Centre, a sanctuary for endangered gorillas, chimpanzees and drill baboons orphaned by the bushmeat trade.   It was there that he realized his unique passion for conservation and education.  Jonathan applied for a job at the Centre but was told that there were no openings. To this he responded, “then I will work for free, and when a job becomes available, you will hire me because you will see that I am a smart man and a hard worker.”  Jonathan volunteered for 3 months before a groundskeeper position opened.  When he asked about the job, the head of the Centre lamented that he was over-educated and too good of a worker to take such a low paying job.  Jonathan responded “I will take the job and when a better position becomes available, you will promote me because you will see that I am a smart man and a hard worker.”  Through years of such dedication, Jonathan eventually became the Centre’s Head Keeper, a prominent position he holds to this day.   Many sanctuary workers throughout the world share Jonathan’s passion for conservation and education.  Unfortunately, those ideals are not always popular in countries where the bushmeat trade, poverty and starvation run rampant.  Children of Conservation believe that lasting change requires taking a more global view towards conservation.  Education is a key component of such an approach. In many third world countries, schooling past the 2nd grade is not government funded and is cost prohibitive to the majority of the population.  Like Jonathan’s experience, it becomes a full family effort to put just one child through school.  Inspired by Jonathan’s story, our primary project provides educational scholarships for children of sanctuary workers in third-world countries.  Our core idea is to help keep the children (who are inspired and raised by their sanctuary worker parents) in school.  As such, when they become the leaders and teachers of their communities, they will pass along the importance of education, preservation and conservation.