Hoopers Africa Trust Kenya was set up to provide local expertise and to deal with the day to day administration in Kenya.
Roger’s good friend and former Chairman of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association, Paul Kirui was delighted when Roger proposed the idea of setting up the Charity. Without hesitation Paul agreed to help and became Chairman of Hoopers Africa Trust Kenya in 2007. “I am very fortunate to have met many people from all over the world in my job as a guide, but have never forgotten my roots, growing up in a small village in Kenya. I really understand the needs of the people and especially the importance of educating the girls. This gives them an academic education but saves them from early marriage and FGM, which benefits not only the girls themselves, but their families and indeed the whole village”
I was born on the outskirts of the Masai Mara game reserve, where I grew up and developed an interest to work as a guide. This was my childhood passion. I was motivated by the many guides who were always driving guests past our village on their way into the park. I remember when I was about 5yrs old, I told my mother, when I grow up I would like to be a guide!
My experiences and encounters with wild animals when I was young provided me with an opportunity to grow up with wildlife knowledge. Elephants often came to our village at night and ate our plants and vegetables in the garden. I would often encounter zebra, impala, eland, rhino, and giraffe while herding cattle in the fields far from home.
It was at this period that I learnt tracking, signs and alarm call interpretation in the bush as a necessity for survival in the bush. This has provided me with additional skills to my guiding techniques. Being able to interpret the tracks helps me find game more easily. I have been able to work with the BBC Natural History unit as a consultant for the leopard filming crew during the Big Cat Week and Big Cat Live programmes. I also took part in the shooting of the BBC’s documentary, The Truth About Lions” in 2009. I worked with Disney Nature during the filming of “African Cats” in 2009/10.
I am currently carrying out research on the vultures in the Masai Mara game reserve in conjunction with the department of ornithology of the National Museums and the Peregrine Fund. This project was aired on BBC 1 during the Big Cat Live programme in October 2008. I have been able to attend several colleges to sharpen my skills as a guide, among them Inkwazi Rangers’ School in South Africa, Kenya Utalii College and the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute, Premese Africa Development Institute.
I have worked as a guide for the last 20 years guiding many guests to different wilderness areas in Kenya, Northern Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. Most of this time was spent near my village in the Masai Mara game reserve and I think very few others understand the Mara as I do. I did my bronze guiding level exam in 1997 and silver in 2001 and finally my gold level exam in 2009.
From 2011, I have been involved in training the guides in Rwanda and developing a grading system through examinations. In 2016 I won the Eco-Warrior safari guide of the year award. I am also currently a director of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (http://www.safariguides.org).
Robert was born in 1977 and started his primary school education in 1983. He joined high school in 1992 where he graduated well in his final examinations. Robert was one of the first in his village to go to university. He was admitted to Moi University in 1997 to pursue a bachelor of education degree (science option), which he completed successfully. He is currently a High School teacher at Kilgoris Girls Secondary School.
His experience in the field of education has been of great assistance to HAT.
Alice attended primary school from 1977 to 1985 and went on to finish high school. Between 1990 and 1992 she attended a teacher training college and started working as a teacher in July 1992.
Alice comes from a village where girls are denied education in favour of the boys. Girls in this community are seen as marriage material only. Her parents did not approve her going to high school. However, through sheer determination and with the help of well wishing relatives, Alice did succeed in obtaining her education.
Alice's story highlights the importance of educating girls as she is now a primary school Head teacher in a school with 700 children.
Joseph was born in 1961 and joined primary school in 1972. He passed his CPE exams. He went on to Kilgoris boys secondary school, where he attended and passed his KCE exams well. He gained admission to St. Marks teacher training college and later Kaboson teacher training college and gained a diploma in early childhood education. Joseph has risen through ranks in his career and is currently a primary school Head teacher. Joseph, by virtue of being a boy, had good support from his family throughout his education.
After completion of his primary education, David went on to high school and then joined teacher training college in 1986. In 1990 he was appointed as a school head teacher. In 1995 he was promoted to a Teacher Advisory Centre Tutor. He served as Assistant Education Officer between 2001 and 2006. He is currently district examination officer of the Trans-Mara East district. His experience in the education sector spans many years and through his understanding of that, he has been able to greatly assist HAT.
Joseph was born in 1969. He started his primary school in 1976 and joined secondary school in 1984. After he completed his high school education, in 1990 he was employed as un-trained teacher. He later attended a teacher training college and completed his diploma in education. He is an established teacher with over ten years experience. Joseph is now a Head teacher in a primary school.
Regina was born in 1965. She attended primary school from 1973 and sat for her CPE (primary school certificate). In 1980, she joined high school. From 1984 to 1987, Regina attended Egerton University College and studied for a diploma in Agricultural Education and Extension. She did her degree in Agricultural Education and Extension at the same University. She has also completed courses on guidance and counselling. She is currently a Head teacher at Romosha secondary school, where apart from teaching, she offers guidance and counselling services to the students. This is a role she has also taken over at the charity in Kenya. Many young girls from her village now look upon her as a role model. Regina is married with four children, with two of her children (sons) attending university in America.
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