April 24, 2021
12:15 pm PDT
Found only in northern Kenya and parts of Ethiopia, the Grevy’s zebra is the rarest zebra species in the world. It is also the largest, but its physical size has not helped it fare well against threats like food and habitat loss due to rampant livestock grazing and severe drought. With roughly 3,000 individuals remaining, Grevy’s Zebra Trust (GZT) is dedicated to helping this rare zebra population rebound. GZT teaches pastoral communities about the importance of Grevy’s zebra conservation and works with them to promote sustainable livestock grazing. GZT scouts also monitor Grevy’s zebras to make sure they have access to key resources for their survival.
Sheila Funnell and Damaris Lekiluai are speaking in the When Women Succeed, Wildlife Wins roundtable.
Sheila Funnell grew up splitting her time between living in Kenya and the UK and joined Grevy’s Zebra Trust (GZT) in 2015 as their Research Manager. She has a degree in Conservation Biology and a master’s in Taxonomy and Biodiversity. Sheila transitioned to the role of GZT’s Program Manager in 2020, and is responsible for overseeing the implementation of GZT’s Research Strategy to ensure that it delivers on its impact model. She also oversees monitoring, evaluations, and learning for GZT’s different programs and communicates our impact to partners.
Women’s Empowerment Officer
Damaris Lekiluai is from Wamba in Samburu County, Kenya. She worked for the Earth Watch Institute, where she received an opportunity to attend Moi University in Nairobi and study Tourism and Wildlife Management. As the first woman in her village to complete school, Damaris has always felt that it is her responsibility to mentor and empower women and girls from her community. She joined Grevy’s Zebra Trust in 2016 as a Women’s Empowerment Officer. Damaris supervises the production of reusable sanitary pads for the Nkirreten project and provides mentorship and support for the Grevy’s Zebra Scholarship students. Her work has allowed her to fulfill her passion for conservation and change the lives of women in her community.
Photography credit: (c) Suzi Eszterhas