Huge congratulations to Clement Manjaalera, LWT’s Head of Education & Community Conservation, for winning PASA’s Siddle-Marsden Award for 2016!
Greg Tully, PASA’s Executive Director, said, “PASA is delighted to present the 2016 Siddle-Marsden Award to Clement Manjaalera. The award is granted every year to an employee of a PASA member wildlife center who exemplifies a commitment to conservation, primates, and excellence, and Clement clearly demonstrates these qualities. His rise to a leadership position in Lilongwe Wildlife Trust in which he manages a team of 12 who provide conservation education to more than 35,000 children every year is inspirational.”
We surprised Clement with the award with a big party at the Wildlife Centre, just before his trip to Uganda to take part in the PASA (Pan African Sanctuary Alliance) and GFAS (Global Federation of Animal Sancturies) conferences, at which he was invited to present.
Jasper Iepema, Sanctuary Manager for the Wildlife Centre, went along too and said, “I couldn’t have been more proud of Clement and the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust on this trip. What’s more, being part of both PASA and GFAS has meant that we have met some very inspirational and knowledgeable people and organisations, and we are thrilled to be a part of it. What a great way to end the year.”
Read more about why Clement is so deserving of this prestigious award below…
Clement Manjaalera joined Lilongwe Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Centre as a volunteer tour guide when the sanctuary first opened in 2008. Since then his rise to senior management has been our greatest staff success stories, and has been a key player in helping to grow Lilongwe Wildlife Trust into Malawi’s leading wildlife welfare and conservation charity.
As Education and Outreach Manager for the entire Trust, he is now one of four of the Trust’s senior managers, managing a team of 12 educators who have the utmost respect for him because he leads by example.
Our education programme is in large part a success due to his leadership. Over 25,000 school children visited the Wildlife Centre in 2015 and a further 10,000 were engaged through our outreach projects. The education programme now has six modules covering wildlife welfare and conservation, human wildlife conflict, wildlife crime, biodiversity, waste management, and habitats and deforestation which are delivered at the sanctuary and out in local schools. Lilongwe Wildlife Trust is now Malawi’s lead conservation education organisation, and our programme has now been rolled out around five of Malawi’s key protected areas.
Writing and partnerships were not his strong points up until a few years ago but he persevered, asking for training and mentoring from our director. Now he writes his own grant applications and reports and directly manages donor relations for the likes of UNDP and the International Tree Foundation. Similarly managing large budgets has been challenging, but he has worked to create systems for his team and will chase up receipts for every kwacha to ensure the accounts balance, taking pride in handing over his impeccable spreadsheets.
The basics are important to him – from punctuality and smart dress to the formatting of meeting minutes – but he is equally no stranger to getting his hands dirty. He makes sure he spends half his time out of the office working on the projects he is responsible for. This could be visiting schools or communities, leading teacher training and helping to plant trees, taking volunteers to visit the sustainable livelihoods community groups or following tours around the sanctuary to check his tour guides are delivering. He believes in capacity building. As he often remarks, he made the grade because management backed him and he feels he owes it to his team to give them the opportunities that he had.
He is passionate about his job and fiercely committed to the cause. He regularly appears on local TV and radio talking about wildlife crime issues, in particular the pet and bushmeat trade. He enjoys drama and has led many a school group to perform plays and poetry at events like World Environment Week and World Wildlife Day. He also has a background in the arts and loves to put on a good show, for example last year he helped to write a monologue on ‘a world without wildlife’ which was performed by one of our school group in front of none other than the President of Malawi and his visitors from the US.
Clement started at the Wildlife Centre with hardly any education, but now he holds a diploma in Environmental management and a BA in Business Administration which he has done in his spare time. He has never received any recognition for his work outside the team, and so if he were to receive the Siddle-Marsden Award this would be a fantastic accolade to show to his peers not just at Lilongwe Wildlife Trust but also within Malawi’s wider environmental community.