Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programme

The two year Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programme began in 2012 with the initiative to train young enthusiastic Namibian graduates to become future leaders in the Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) sector. Since the beginning of the programme, fourteen interns have been mentored, trained and found jobs in NGOs, the private sector, the MET, while others pursued further studies.

The programme is named in memory of the benefactor, Donald Hamer, via the Hamer Foundation. The Hamer funding for the programme comes through WWF in Namibia.

In 2017:

Matthew Walters joined the programme with a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management from the Namibia University of Science and Technology and is currently pursuing his Masters degree in the same  field. He was born in Oranjemund and can speak both English and Afrikaans.  Ever since he was a young boy, he has always been passionate about the vast wilderness and the diversity of wildlife that characterises Namibia.  Subsequently, he decided to study Nature Conservation in order to further his understanding of the ecological and managerial aspects surrounding Namibia’s environment.  He has additionally worked in Etosha National Park as part of NUST’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and he also successfully completed a research project in both his WIL and in his Honour’s Degree.   His hope is that during the course of the programme he will prove himself as a valuable asset and that it will enable him to perform exceptionally towards conservation in the future through the acquiring of the knowledge and expertise provided by the programme.

Herman Aindongo, who comes from Omusati region in northern Namibia, has an honours degree in Natural Resources Management and Nature Conservation from the Namibia University of Science and Technology. Ever since childhood, Herman has been genuinely passionate about nature, especially the vast and untouched Namibian landscapes. It is his ambition to make use of the Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programmer as a platform to enhance his knowledge and skill capacity in the CBNRM realm and hopefully become one of the humble leaders in the success of conservation of Namibian natural resources and upliftment of the rural Namibian people.

In 2018:

Victoria Amon, a young enthusiastic lady joins the Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programme with a double major in Geography & Environmental Biology as well  as Sociology. She is a passionate environmentalist with a special interest in water and wildlife conservation.She is always eager to learn and believes the Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programme is the right programme to give her more exposure to conservation  issues and gain invaluable skills towards her career development.

Rauha Iyambo joined the Donald Hamer Conservation Leardeship Programme with a bachelor's degree in Geo-Information Science from the University of Namibia. She works closely with the GIS manager, under the Natural Resources Working Group, while also taking part in other CBNRM retated activities. Rauha enjoys working at NACSO because its a multidisciplinary environment and she gets to learn about communal conservation in Namibia. She hopes to get additional skills and diversified knowledge in the field of conservation.

In 2019:

Milton Mushindi has an Honours Degree in Animal science which he obtained in 2018 from the University of Namibia. He is from the Kunene region and is passionate about animals, travelling and exploring the beautiful Namibia and interacting with its diverse ethnic groups. During the Donald Hamer Conservation Leadership Programme, he is keen on learning more about conservancies and working with rural communities in helping conserve wildlife.

Mighty Ugwanga comes from Omusati region - north central Namibia. She came to Windhoek in 2011 to study Tourism Management at the University of Namibia, with the hope of satisfying her childhood hobby of travelling. As she became acquainted with the subject she realised that tourism was more complex than just travelling and that it contributed to the economy and dealt with sustainability. As she joins the Donald Hammer Conservation Leadership Programme at NACSO, Mighty looks forward to learning more about the role of tourism in conservation. During the two-year internship, she would love to network and build strong relationships with leaders in the conservation programme, exchange knowledge on improving existing conservation practices in Namibia, and pass on what she has learnt to future generations.

NACSO is keen to take the interns under its wings, to groom and mentor them in becoming the future of CBNRM in Namibia.