Meet Daniel, an Asilia Positive Impact scholarship recipient and waiter
We’d love to introduce you to Daniel, a waiter whose smile lights up Sayari Camp. Daniel was one of the beneficiaries of Asilia’s Positive Impact Sponsorship Scheme for local communities and has now been part of the Asilia family for three years. Daniel wants to give back to his community and has started a youth group in his village where he teaches young people about the wildlife he encounters on a daily basis and why it is so important to protect all of Africa’s species. Please scroll down to read more about this inspiring man.
What is your favourite animal?
I love hyenas because of their cackling laugh and all of the other sounds and calls that they make. I think it’s because I grew up hearing their melody at night in my village. I also think it’s so clever that after spending the day alone, hyenas can smell when there is food and then they all come together to eat as one clan.
What is your favourite animal encounter?
This isn’t my favourite encounter, but it’s one of the craziest things I’ve seen. We had been watching two lionesses with young cubs one morning; the two adults went hunting, leaving the cubs hidden among some bushes and rocks. However, some hyenas had smelt where the babies were, and they came and took the lion cubs. It was very sad to watch, but that’s nature in action.
Tell me how you came to work at Asilia.
Well, Asilia gave some people from my village the opportunity to be security guards or what we call askari and one day I was selected to be a guard for a month. I was at camp for a short period of time but while I was here, I watched how the staff interacted with the guests and I learned so much – it inspired me. I knew from that point on that I wanted to work for Asilia.
I was then very fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries of Asilia’s Positive Impact Programme for local communities. I had completed secondary school, but Asilia enabled me to go to College in Arusha and study a course in hospitality. This is an amazing opportunity that we had to interview for, and I was so proud when I made it to the final seven out of hundreds of applications! I was then selected by Asilia to go to one of their camps to get practical work experience and once I’d completed that, I was hired as a waiter. I was so happy, and my family was so proud of me.
What are your next steps?
That time when I was a security guard for Asilia, it was my ambition to become a waiter and I am so happy that I achieved that. Now, I want to keep pushing myself, I want to learn more, and I hope that one day, I can train to become a guide. I want to keep progressing and make the most out of this incredible opportunity that Asilia gave to me. One day, when you come back to Sayari Camp, I will be your guide!
What is your biggest achievement?
Definitely completing my education at college and becoming a waiter for Asilia. I come from a very small village in the Serengeti district called Merenga where it is very difficult to get a good level of education. People from my tribe were typically only ever police officers or teachers in the past. However, Asilia has given me this amazing opportunity; this company has taken me from grass to grace and I am so grateful and proud to be where I am today.
What’s one thing that the other staff members don’t know about you?
I think that the staff don’t know about the youth group I set up in my community. I come from the Kuria tribe and I’ve already mentioned that it’s previously been very difficult for people to reach a high level of education. Even now, I know of only five guides in our tribe and everyone finds them so inspiring – they want to strive for more.
Many years ago, my tribe used to hunt the wild animals for their meat and hides. This stopped a long time ago, but I wanted to educate the young people in my village on the importance of wildlife. So, I organised a group of about ten youths all aged between 18 and 22, that I assemble whenever I visit home. I tell them about my life here in the bush, what I’m working for, why we should prevent the hunting of animals and why we should love the wildlife of our country. I also want them to realise that protecting wildlife attracts tourists and creates more opportunity for employment. Maybe some of them will work for Asilia one day. At the moment, my group is quite small but one day, my group will be very big and filled will youths from all over the village, maybe even the district.
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