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#WCW: Vimbainashe Eunick Chitauro

By Tapiwa Prosper Chimbadzwa

Vimbainashe Eunick Chitauro is the eldest of two daughters and the mother of a 6-year-old daughter. A holder of a BSc Hons Degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from Chinhoyi University of Technology. She is the Conservation Education Programs Manager at Wildlife Conservation Action and  also serves as a field officer for Zambezi Valley Conservation Network's (ZVCN) Chengetai Zambezi Valley Biodiversity Project. Her duties at WCA mostly involve developing and managing conservation education initiatives, while at ZVCN she is responsible for performing fieldwork for the Chengetai project.

Question: Who is your inspiration and what motivates you to do this job ?

Answer : My parents are my motivation; although they do not work in the wildlife sector, they motivate me to work hard and put maximum effort in my job. Since I always wanted to work with nature, my passion for what I do motivates me to do my best. I can certainly say that I caught the bug from my workaholic parents, my late father and mother. My kid inspires me to work hard as well because I want to set a good example for her. Working two jobs at age 25 is definitely a challenge, but I push myself to reach my objectives.

Question : How do you balance work and social life ?

Answer : I don't really have that much of social life, but I like to watch movies and series, listen to music, and occasionally go out with friends. I can't really say that I'm good at juggling work and social life, but all I can say is that I work when I have to work and try to relax when I have to. I truly believe that life always finds a way to balanced itself.

Question : What are the most exciting and most challenging experiences of your work. ?

Answer : Getting to have the connection with nature, meeting people from different backgrounds, communities and knowing that you are making an impact in the conservation of biodiversity at the same time improving the livelihoods of communities that live alongside wildlife. One of my biggest challenge has been my age being the young person in the room and worse of a woman people tend not to take you seriously when you contribute given their span of experience. Also working with communities that can be hostile especially given the plight of human wildlife conflict , cooperation of communities can be limited therefor hindering the process of sharing the conservation message.

Question : What are the challenges being faced by women in conservation and what can be done to address them ?

Answer : One of the biggest challenge is lack of female participation in decision-making and the need to deconstruct some widely held stereotypes in this profession are also issues that need to be addressed. Because many people are not accustomed to seeing women in positions of leadership in conservation, it has a detrimental impact on the decisions made in this field. Creating greater opportunities for women and trying to level the playing field so that everyone can prosper will help bring about the change that is so desperately needed.

Advice to aspiring conservationists

Your passionate should be your biggest drive. Since the conservation sector is a passion driven profession.

Question : s there adequate information on GBV issues within the sector and what can be done to address GBV in your own opinion ?

Answer: There is no information on Gender Based Violence in the conservation sector , hence there is need to increase awareness specifically in the space and create safe spaces for the survivors of GBV.

Question : Do you think a mentorship program can be a good tool to motivate more young woman to take up conservation as a career ?

Answer: Yes definitely , once you find that someone who will push you in your area of expertise , it will give you the drive to want to become like them or better

Question : Would you take up some time to mentor a young person given an opportunity ?

Answer : Yes, since I received mentorship from some incredible ladies in the field and I truly feel as though I owe them a lot, hence doing the same will be a nice way to acknowledge what they done for me. Bringing up a select names, such as Prof. Kupika, makes me want to emulate what she and other women are doing to empower girls.

Question : What is your favorite animal ?

Answer : Its not found in Africa but my favorite animal would be the wolf .

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