Colobus Conservation is overseen by a Board of Directors including members of the local, business and scientific community - John Buckley, chairman (Safarilink Aviation), Luciana Parazzi (Local Liaison), Elias Kimaru (Forest Conservation), Wambui Ngunya (Operations) and former Conservation Manager and Primatologist, Pamela Cunneyworth (Research).
Strategic operations and day-to-day management activities fall to the managers, staff and international and national volunteers.
Meet our staff.....
Kelly - Conservation Manager
Kelly is the Conservation Manager and has been with the organisation since 2015. Previous to this Kelly studied Zoology BSc at Liverpool John Moore’s University and Primate Conservation MSc at Oxford Brookes University. Kelly first came to Colobus Conservation in 2012 as a volunteer, later she returned to conduct her MSc research on community perceptions of the local wildlife and the organisation. She has worked and volunteered for several conservation organisations in Africa but her heart has always been in Kenya. Her passion lies with community conservation and believes that all people need to be involved when it comes to conservation. She is keen to continue working on the development of community outreach projects and the education programmes.
Mwitu - Field Operations Manager
Mwitu is from the local area and from a young age has always loved nature. He came to Colobus Conservation in 2008 as a volunteer and has worked hard and now oversees all the centres programmes, organising all school education workshops, colobridging and electrocution reduction programmes. His local knowledge on both the area and forest makes him a key member of the team. Mwitu’s favourite part of the job is his chance to meet different people from all over the word, advising ‘we exchange conservation ideas, this helps me to learn a lot’. He sees his future being in conservation and would eventually like to open his own conservation organisation.
Joy - Animal Carer
Joy is Colobus Conservation’s main animal carer and oversees the care of all orphan monkeys that arrive at the centre. Joy became interested in Colobus Conservation because of the organisations work in animal care and welfare, its community based conservation and being able to meet and work with local and international volunteers. She says ‘my favourite thing about my job is preparing food and feeding the monkeys. I stand and watch how all run for their favourite food and tend to steal from one another. I also love how they enjoy the enrichment especially the hammocks and swinging tyres’. She is incredibly passionate about the future of the local monkey populations, ‘No matter how much people do not like monkeys, some of the primate species are already facing threats and others are almost extinct. I see Colobus Conservation standing as a big icon in future primate conservation’. She would love to see Colobus Conservation expand and open up more branches especially areas where colobus are found and where the forests are becoming threatened.
Issa - Housekeeper
Issa has been with Colobus Conservation since 2002. Issa keeps the house in order, making sure the house is clean and rooms are prepared for all our volunteers. Issa chose to work for Colobus Conservation because he loves animals. He works incredibly hard and welcomes all new guests with a smile. He is the biggest joker and you will often hear his laughter while he works. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his son. We would all be lost without him!
Ester - Marketing and Eco-tour Guide
Ester joined the team in July 2005. Before joining Colobus Conservation, Ester worked in the government sector. Ester has a wealth of knowledge on local conservation, and on the occasion will also assist with educational workshops for local school children. She is always complimented on her professional manner when guiding guests around the centre. Ester when asked what the best part of her job was, advised ‘as an international guide, I have a chance to meet many different people from all over the globe and this happens to be the best part of my job’. Ester enjoys participating in the education program and educating tourists, she hopes to work more with the community in the future to increase awareness of the forests and its associated benefits.
Mary - Marketing and Eco-tour Guide
She joined Team Colobus in 2002 as a volunteer. Mary volunteered while studying foreign languages and was later employed by the organisation in 2004. Mary is always complimented for her approachable and bubbly demeanour, which makes her a great guide. Mary’s favourite part of the job is education and eco-tours. She advises ‘when schools visit the centre my major role is to ensure that matters pertaining environment and human/primate conflicts are taught, at the end of the education workshop the students learn to respect wildlife’. Mary would like to continue teaching people about conservation and wildlife. Outside of work Mary enjoys singing and works with women on gender equality.
Joshua - Chef
Joshua cooks all the scrummy meals for staff and volunteers living at the centre. Joshua joined Colobus Conservation in 2015, his favourite meals to cook are the veggie burgers and samosas and we can vouch and say they are delicious. Joshua has worked as a chef at many establishments but chose to join Colobus Conservation to learn about how the animals in Diani are being conserved. He would like to see Colobus Conservation open its own café for guests!
Edward - Resident Vet
Edward is the resident vet and treats all the animals that arrive at the centre. Colobus Conservation work with many other organisations, one being the African Network of Animal Welfare (ANAW). Through this partnership, ANAW provides Colobus with a full time vet. Edward’s work can sometimes never end and he works hard to make sure all animals that come to the centre get the best treatment. His favourite part of his job is seeing animals free from distress, in his own words ‘To see those animals bought in injured or sick and then go out strong and happy, makes me very happy’. He hopes to in the future focus on research on zoonotic diseases and their control’. In the small amount of spare time he gets he likes to cycle and observing the wild monkeys.
Nancy - Office Manager
Nancy has been working for Colobus Conservation since 2014 and is an integral part of the team, greeting all new guests and volunteers with her warm smile and demeanour. She works hard to ensure all the administration and household runs smoothly. Previous to this Nancy has a wealth of experience working in finance, sales and hospitality. Nancy has big aspirations for Colobus Conservation and would like the organisation to acquire its own land and be financially stable. Nancy is also keen to return to school and learn business management and consultancy. Outside colobus Nancy mentors young girls and enjoys swimming.
Henry - Animal Carer
Henry joined Colobus Conservation as a volunteer in 2014. Henry was an exceptional volunteer and showed real passion and interest for conservation and animal welfare. His hard work paid off and in January 2016 he was offered a paid position. Henry assists in most of the field programmes and research but states his favourite job is animal care. He has a great passion for the conservation done by Colobus Conservation and wants to see the centre open more branches along the coast and nationwide, involving more of the local community. In his spare time Henry is an avid football player and often takes volunteers out to join his football team.
Simon - Field Assistant
Simon is one of Colobus Conservation’s field assistants. At school he studied tour guiding and conservation at Wildlife Clubs of Kenya. He enjoys his work, advising ‘working at colobus is related to what I studied, what I like about my job is when we rescue injured and sick animals, treat them and are able to release them back into the wild, I also enjoy working close to the beach’. Simon originally joined colobus as a volunteer and showed great potential and later came back to join the team full time. Simon assists on several programmes, this includes colobridging, education, animal care and the electrocution reduction programme. He also has a wealth of knowledge on the local bird species.
Tony - Assistant Operations Manager
Tony is the organisation’s assistant operations manager. Tony came to Colobus Conservation as a student and in his own words ‘I came to Colobus Conservation as a student intern, and I just never left and they couldn’t get rid of me’. Tony oversees all maintenance of the centre, conducts all pest assessments and workshops within the hotels and the local community. He is well known in the area for his bubbly and approachable character. His favourite part of the job is the education programme and ‘off course the monkeys’. His future aspirations for the organisation and local area is that all children in Kwale County are part of conservation. In his spare time Tony enjoys visiting national parks, he especially enjoys observing rhinos in the wild, stating ‘I can watch them for hours, even if they are doing nothing but just standing there’.