Ketshepaone Modise | WWF South Africa

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WWF South Africa/Dimpho Lephaila

Ketshepaone Modise

2019 Intern

Having grown up in a rural part of the North West province, Ketshepaone Modise has seen how difficult it is for young children in these areas to access quality education opportunities.

One of her passions is to encourage young women into science and the opportunities it presents. She hopes that this will improve the level of science-based skills in South Africa.

Ketshepaone holds an Honours degree in Environmental Sciences (Geography and Environmental Management) from North West University and works as an intern in Environmental Management at the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency.

We asked her a few questions about her career journey:

What motivated your career choice?
Growing up in Lokaleng, a small village in Mahikeng in the North West province, I was a member of the Pathfinders Club within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  In the club, we were involved in cultural, social and religious education of children and teenagers. This is where some of the important lessons, such as being a steward for the environment, were instilled in me.
 
After these experiences, I wanted a career that would make it possible to carry on what I learnt as a Pathfinder.  
 
What do you hope to gain from the internship?
I hope to participate in programmes that will build my self-confidence in the various aspects of my life, including my social and professional life.

What excites you the most about the internship?
Having the opportunity to network with people working in the environmental sector will sharpen my communication skills. And, since I will be involved in data collection, environmental impact assessments, management and monitoring of biodiversity, I will learn a lot about these areas of work. In the long run, I will be able to provide advice to other environmental organisations, which I find very exciting.

What do you think is the biggest environmental issue the world is facing right now?
Air pollution as a result of how we produce and use electricity, transportation, and farming is a big issue and threat to our health.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nine out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. WHO also discovered that fine particles like sulphate and nitrates are responsible for the deaths of about seven million people each year – mainly occurring in low-income countries.

What contribution do you wish to make to the well-being of people and nature?
I aim to educate people from low-income areas about the effects of pollution and encourage them to be more involved in programmes that help reduce the effects of environmental degradation.
 
By creating awareness, especially on issues that affect our health, we will open people’s eyes and encourage them to learn more and take action against these problems.

If you had a chance to change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would change the belief that people cannot do certain things based on their gender or race. These kinds of attitudes impede our ability to make progress on urgent issues affecting our country.

Who do you admire the most and why?
My mother is the epitome of strength, perseverance and excellence. She attended night school when I was a child and when I was attending primary school, she was attending high school. Her attitude has motivated me to study and see the value in education.

I also like her positive attitude. She always tells me to be true to myself, work hard and never forget where I come from.

What role do you think your generation could play in creating a better world for all?
My generation can help people understand the importance of using natural resources sustainably. Since we live in an era where we are connected by the digital world, we have many platforms available to us that would help us encourage one another for a better natural world.  


 

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