Reflecting on the past 20 years of operation, it’s encouraging to see how much CORDIO East Africa has grown.
Through the experiences shared by current and ex-staff and partners such as KWS, KMFRI, WWF and other NGOs, there is no doubt that the institution has achieved a lot in marine research and conservation, in Kenya and in the region. Some of these personal (and humorous) accounts included:
“In CORDIO’s early days, the internet was so slow that we used to have to wait until 5pm to use the internet”
“Unlike interns of today, we would only go home when there was no electricity but not when there was an internet disconnection”
“At CORDIO, people join as interns but leave as doctors”
“Quality of work prepared by CORDIO is very high and that challenges us to measure up”,
“Even if you leave CORDIO you can’t take the CORDIO out of you”
“Lots of people still see the CORDIO in me”
“CORDIO has really invested in building capacity for marine conservation in Kenya”
As someone who has recently joined CORDIO’s internship programme, I have to acknowledge that the narratives of the exciting experiences from the attendees really motivated me to exert more effort in order to continue CORDIO’s legacy. It was also encouraging to hear that the organization provides opportunities for growth professionally.
There was a speech thereafter on CORDIO’s history by Dr.Samoilys and a brief overview from Dr.Obura on the organization’s future plans and focus area especially with the new 5-year grant ” Innovating and sharing knowledge for coastal resilience in Eastern Africa” funded by NORAD.
There was also time for an activity to engage the participants, which involved deliberations in small groups on current and horizon environmental and social challenges. Some of the possible solutions to the problems were insightful and if implemented, could go a long way in management and conservation of the natural resources Kenya is endowed with. A summary of the discussions will be prepared and shared from this blog shortly.
The event was crowned by lunch organized by CORDIO staff and it was to everyone’s delight and expectations.
The feedback from the participants after the event was very positive, and there was certainly a desire to have more informal, friendly platforms for people from different organizations to interact. I hope that the event leads to more promising projects and partnerships between CORDIO and other organizations over the next 20 years!