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Violet Ramokone

Kholofelo Ramokone

2019 Intern

For Kholofelo Ramokone, helping others is something that is close to her heart, as it was instilled in her from a young age. She follows this principle in both her social and professional life.

Kholofelo has been tutoring Grade 12 learners in Polokwane in Mathematics and Chemistry since 2011.
As a Conservation Scientist intern with WWF’s Small-scale fisheries programme, one of her roles involves working with coastal fishing communities to understand the importance and benefits of conserving marine resources.

We asked her to share more about her journey:

What motivated your career choice?
When I was growing up in Polokwane, I used to enjoy collecting water from the river. And, it was my dream to study something that involves water, such as ensuring good water quality or access to this natural resource. Consequently, I chose Chemistry and Biochemistry for my undergraduate degree, which I completed in 2016 at the University of Limpopo.

During my studies I discovered that there was a course in Aquaculture which caught my attention and I decided to pursue it for my Honours degree. I made the right choice because the knowledge I gained has come in handy in my current role.
What do you hope to gain from the internship?
I hope to interact with various government departments and the private sector to promote WWF’s work in marine conservation and creating alternative livelihoods for coastal communities. I would love to gain experience in project coordination and team work as these are vital skills in my field.

What excites you the most about the internship?
I am excited for the opportunity to work with small-scale fishing communities and get to understand their needs so that I can effectively help address the issues they face. Often, projects operate in an area without a proper understanding of the community’s needs which dooms the project to fail.  At WWF we understand that it is important to involve people from the beginning if we want the project to succeed.
I am happy to be fulfilling this function as a WWF intern.

What do you think is the biggest environmental issue the world is facing right now?
Climate change is the biggest problem facing us, especially considering that there are people who are either not aware of it or do not believe it exists.

We need to create more awareness and help people understand the effects that this growing crisis has on our lives and the environment. The more people understand it, the easier it will be to mitigate its effects.

What contribution do you wish to make to the well-being of people and nature?
I want to create awareness about conservation and about projects implemented in marine conservation areas. It is not enough to inform people about efforts to create alternative livelihoods if they do not fully understand the reasons behind it and how to be a part of the solutions uncovered.

If you had a chance to change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would change people’s attitudes. If mind-sets changed to value everything and understand that there is a complex relationship between everything in the world, we would think twice before misusing natural resources.

Who do you admire the most and why?
My mother inspires me. Despite all the obstacles that she faced in her career as an Educator, she has been successful. I admire the passion that she has for her job. She goes the extra mile for her learners and never complains.

She also taught me that a child belongs to the community and should not go hungry while neighbours are eating. Helping others is something that is deep-rooted in me.

What role do you think your generation could play in creating a better world for all?
We are a generation of trendsetters and we can use this to our advantage and make conservation and environmental sustainability a trendy and fashionable thing – something that everyone will want to be part of.

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