Investing in the future
Ecotourism is about promoting responsible travel through conserving the natural environment, respecting the local people and their culture. In order for ecotourism to work, more actors in the tourism industry must embrace ecotourism principles for achieving the desired results and impact. The actors must be empowered with adequate experiences to gain the practical skills and knowledge essential in ecotourism.
Therefore, Ecotourism Kenya has established the Leadership and mentorship program (LMP) to provide its members with an opportunity to gain experience; nurture their skills and get enlightened about the fundamentals and practices of ecotourism. The program blends the academic and professional, theoretical and practical aspects, while addressing the interests of participants.
The following is a brief outline of the program:
Key objectives of the LMP are:
- To educate students about the origins, meaning and practices of ecotourism in comparison with other conventional forms of tourism;
- To create and raise sufficient awareness about the importance of ecotourism in Kenya;
- To assist tourism actors adopt ecotourism best practices in their business operations;
- To share experiences and exchange ideas for promoting ecotourism in Kenya;
- To provide job training opportunities (through internship and attachments) for tourism students from Kenyan universities and colleges.
- Recruitment: Involves enrolment of students who must meet the criteria outlined below.
- Induction/orientation training: This will be done through lecture sessions and training workshops, reading materials and audio visual presentations. Topics to be covered will include; Environmental management and awareness, project planning, relating with employers and job supervisors etc.
- Placement or attachment of interns and volunteers: Interns/volunteers will be posted for their attachments to members of EK ranging from tour operators, hotels, community organizations, airlines, lodges or camps for a period of 8-12 weeks.
- Internship and mentorship: Interns will be posted with regard to their job specifications and the courses done. This will be done under supervision by the host organization (mentor) and they will be expected to carry out duties and projects assigned by their supervisor.
- Homecoming: Debriefing seminars, personal presentations, award of internship certificates upon successful completion and issuance of commendation letters.
- Alumni: Keeping in touch, promoting ecotourism benefits to participants
Students gain invaluable experience at host institutions essential for employment by demonstrating job capabilities, proficiency and aptitude.
Students will gain worthy academic credits to fulfill course requirements. At the end of the internship period, the student is required to write a report on the experience at the company, the duties performed and observations about the job market. This report is then graded accordingly by an instructor or supervisor at the institution. The internships will help students understanding the job market.
- Participants will interact and network with EK members and partners in the tourism industry
- To qualify, applicants must be continuing students in a recognized university or college in Kenya pusuing either a diploma or degree.
- The applicant must be a paid up member of Ecotourism Kenya. The annual membership fee for students is KSh 2,500.
- To apply, the student must send in an application letter to the address shown below, attached with an updated resume, a one page motivation for applying to join the programme, and an introduction letter from the respective university or college.
- The Applicant must submit a certificate of good conduct.
- Internship services.
Ecotourism Kenya will:
- Train the recruits for one week prior to placement.
- Identify and dispatch to hosting organization (subject to approval by student and university/college).
- Monitor progress of student in conjunction with job supervisor.
- Debrief the student based on evaluation reports and reflection reports of students.
- Award the student with internship certificate upon successful completion.
- Provide the student with a job commendation letter.
The program accepts applications three times each year on the following deadlines:
- 30th March – for postings between May and July
- 30th July – For posting between September and November
- 30th November – For postings between January and March