Agnes Tjirare – Rising to the Challenge

Supporting our communities has never been as critical as today, and one such person is Agnes Tjirare, Namibia’s CITW, Culture and Stakeholder Officer.

Agnes has been involved in either driving and coordinating, or visiting and reporting on, a number of projects alongside governmental partners and others, to keep the “the wolf from the door” of a number of our desert neighbours, and educating local groups around the hygiene practices to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Projects have included distributing seeds and fruit trees to the Sesfontein communal garden, donating 250 outdated, but unused, uniforms to the Warmquelle and De Riet communities so they could make face masks, and building Tippy Taps at various water collection points in villages, reaching far as the remote Himba of the Otjinungua village in the Marienfluss Conservancy. And there’s another exciting one on the cards to keep Agnes on her toes, so watch this space…

“While COVID-19 has negatively affected almost everyone, we remain determined to continue supporting our neighbouring communities as we have been doing for decades. During this period specifically, we have made time to visit our CITW members, the children, at their homes and were very pleased to see that they are still committed to using the CITW resources and books to help them while they are studying from home”.

Born and bred in Namibia, Agnes Tjirare has been with Wilderness Safaris for nearly 13 years. As a driven and ambitious individual, she has successfully moved up the ranks from working as a waitress in a camp to currently serving as the Children in the Wilderness (CITW) and Community Engagement Administrator in Namibia.

Her journey into the tourism and hospitality industry had humble beginnings. Agnes was one of just a few candidates selected to attend a maiden Namibia hospitality training programme 10 years ago. Her unstoppable enthusiasm saw her rise quickly and find work with industry leaders such as Wilderness Safaris.

After successfully completing training in tourism and hospitality, Agnes was referred for employment to Wilderness Safaris by her trainers, who were undoubtedly impressed with her extraordinary passion and zeal to learn and grow. Here she received intensive training and served in many roles such as guiding, assistant camp management and logistics administration, among others.

Once she had completed training with Lobster Ink International, she became a specialised Service Trainer tasked with the responsibility of looking after more than 10 camps, focusing on hospitality, customer care standards and housekeeping training. During her role as a Service Trainer she was responsible for over 200 staff members at seven camps, across both Classic and Premier categories. Agnes not only imparted job skills to her peers and colleagues but she also became a revered mentor for and inspiration to others at Wilderness Safaris.

Since 2015, Agnes has been in her current role, overseeing the CITW Namibia programme, and working with more than 10 schools and over 800 learners. In conjunction with parent company, Wilderness Safaris, Agnes drives and contributes to a number of community and culture-related projects in order to positively impact a number of schools and communities across Namibia.

“I have been privileged to work for an organisation that is so passionate about making a difference to local communities, encouraging me to also inspire positive action within my own spheres of influence.  I am proud of the work that we continue to do in our communities and look forward to touching the lives of many more children and individuals through my position”.

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