We wouldn't be able to do what we do with out the great team that keeps LaMCoT running smoothly and ensures our message of conservation reaches the right people! Here is a little introduction into each of our team members in order of how long they have been involved.
The founder of our project, we call her mama that is her name when you arrive in Lamu and specifically in Shella. Her name suits her because she is very caring not only to humans as she owns Peponi Hotel, but also to marine wildlife. Carol Korshen has been living in Lamu, Shella for over 40 years. In the early 1990's she noticed the impact of turtle fishing and turtle nest poaching in the Archipelago. The frequency of the turtle catch and poaching increased and she couldn't stand the behavior after learning that turtles are endangered especially at the Kenyan Coast. Mama Carol initiated a project to protect marine turtles and educate the communities their importance to marine ecosystem and future generation. It is from this point when LaMCoT was born! Mama may be the founder, however for the project to be successful it had to be community run, by young passionate locals ready to make a difference.
We call him the game changer! He was one of our first members and has been working with LaMCoT for 20 years now. Atwaa was born and raised in the North coast of Kenya, in Shella Lamu, where he works, so he spent his entire life in Lamu, Shella! Atwaa started working for LaMCoT on turtle conservation and protection projects as a three in one employee; a coordinator, manager, and the field officer. Before, sea turtles served a delicacy and medicine for the people of Lamu. Turtle nests were poached for eggs, turtles were intentionally fished for food, following the belief that the turtle meat improves men's fertility! Atwaa, worked day and night. At night, he would spend time monitoring nests along Shella beach to Kipungani to take data on the number of nests and marking them for protection. During the day, he would spend his time in barazas and meetings, sensitizing communities by tuning their mind to conservation for future generations. His job on attitude change worked and today we celebrate him! Atwaa is not just a conservationist, he is also a politician. He worked as the minister of fisheries, impacted new policies of Lamu fisheries, Atwaa became the chief officer of public service and now he is the chief officer of the tourism department in Lamu County. With all these achievements, Atwaa still works for LaMCoT as the project coordinator, and our advisor on matters on community engagements and conservation.
They call him the turtle guy! Famau joined LaMCoT in 2003. He was driven by his love for wildlife. Born and raised in Shella, Lamu, spent his entire life living by the ocean, he was an activist against turtle fisheries and eating turtle eggs! He learnt that turtles are endangered and he couldn't spend one more hour losing them. Famau took lead on the protection of sea turtle nests monitoring along the beaches of Manda and Takwa at night and during the day, working with Atwaa on community sensitization against sea turtle fishing. Famau worked in protecting accidentally caught sea turtles with fish nets by giving incentives to fishermen and tagging the turtles before release. He educates the fisherman and any person around looking at his work why tagging and protection of turtles is important. Famau is good at marketing, advocacy, and community sensitization. It is because of his passion, talents, and values that LaMCoT has so far achieved its objective on turtle protection and community project ownership
We have ladies in LaMCoT! Fatma Omar is our LaMCoT admin, we call her, educationist. Why? Because, apart from being the LaMCoT admin, she has been working on education programs in running environmental kindness clubs in schools around Lamu archipelago. Using the PACE book module from Tusk trust, our funding organization, Fatma has so far achieved to teach 13 schools in Lamu. Fatma is good at creating a friendly environment for school kids to learn, compete and work on experiment projects from different lessons she teaches. As the first pioneer from Bright girl’s secondary school in Shella, that tells you she was born and raised in Shella! She was among the best performing students during her time in 2013. Through the education program of the environmental kindness club, Bright girl’s school now own an organic farm. Farming all herbs, cabbages, spinach, peppers, and onions. During COVID 19, Fatma Omar continued her work to educate students on environment conservation through virtual learning. Fatma Omar now works as admin in LaMCoT but gives advice and ideas on the school program that is now led by Miss Teresa and Famau.
Meet Jahawi, the ocean storyteller.. Jahawi is always emotionally right when it comes to ocean conservation. He uses his pro-ocean behavior in storytelling. His underwater filming skills capture every detail concerning the existence of marine species and how they thrive in their natural environment. He now must have a museum of them! Using his best artistics skills in photography, music, cinematography, and narration, Jahawi has emotionally connected this talent to saving the ocean animals from getting extinct. The first time you have a conversation with him, it will be a story! If you were never an ocean conservation activist, with Jahawi, you will definitely become one. With these talents, Jahawi is incredibly great in making educational marine conservation films of human issues. His videography skills are well complemented with his storytelling pro-ocean behaviors. Bahari yetu, is an award winning film that Jahawi has given to the world, in just 10 mins, the film will connect you to the ocean and you will be treating the ocean differently! Catch us on our next blogs to know more about these films.
Our project manager and marine specialist. She is not from Lamu, but was born and raised in Vanga, the southern coast, still living by the ocean! Being raised by an adventurous fisherman dad, Teresa found her career in marine and coastal resource management and marine biology. She joined LaMCoT early this year, 2022. Her enthusiasm, values, talents, and technical knowledge in marine and fisheries management has synergized the entire team working spirit to scale up the organization and venture into other community needs such as development of community co-managed marine areas, community education program on sustainable fisheries resource use, develop research knowledge around sea turtle population, marine mammals, coral reef, mangrove conservation, and endangered marine species research. As a SCUBA diver, together with the LaMCoT Trustees, Teresa works on coral reef surveys and monitoring. There are a number of projects Miss Teresa and the team are working on, and we will tell you as you continue interacting with us!
She is the noble mermaid, with too many talents. As an artist, she expresses her feelings in conservation of marine resources through drawings. She will draw a whole stream of mangrove ecosystems just with her talents. Elke is incredibly good in hospitality and public relations, she takes every being her own. You will find her happy as always. Elke, as noble as she is, doesn't belong to the dry land or spaces. She is a mermaid, if they ever existed then I think Elke is in the family! Our trustee loves water! She spends most of her days free diving, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, swimming with marine mammals, turtles, and fish. Elke has mastered all these skills through consistency and her love for nature. She also takes very informative underwater photos and videos like a pro! Elke was born and raised in Kenya, Lamu. her whole life has been besides the blue waters. Now you understand why she is who she is! Noble Mermaid!