Meet the EHRA elephant conservation team!
EHRA Operations Director and Founder
Johannes hails originally from South Africa where he was raised with a close affinity with nature. He studied political science, development studies and anthropology, later moving on to nature conservation.
He has worked in various parts of the conservation sphere in Southern Africa, from game reserve management, professional hunting, tour guiding, reserve development, anti-poaching, guide training, rural development and more.
Over the past 12 years he has been living in Namibia, first working with Save the Rhino Trust in the Kunene Region of Northwest Namibia, developing systems to facilitate conservation independent of outside funding. In this time he witnessed the expansion of the elephant populations into the southern Kunene, and realized he should apply a multi-angled approach to help solve the problem. Hence the creation of EHRA.
Rachel, originally from the UK has been with EHRA in Namibia for the last 10 years. Previous to this, she spent 5 years in events fundraising for a high-profile charity in London. In the main she organised overseas fundraising expeditions and has taken large groups of volunteers to Namibia, Ecuador, China, Brazil, Morocco and New Zealand. Through these trips she developed a passion for travel and a firm belief in sustainable tourism and the ability of individuals to make a huge difference through projects such as EHRA. Through expeditions and trips to Namibia she fell in love with the country where she now lives and manages the administration of the organisation, including the volunteer trips.
Volunteer Coordinator and Head Tracker
Mattias has been with EHRA since June 2010. Mattias has a wealth of knowledge about the area of Damaraland where EHRA operates, having worked for The Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) for over 30 years as a tracker. Mattias, along with Chris, coordinates the volunteer groups during the building week and during patrol his fantastic tracking skills kick in!
Community Liaisons Coordinator and tracker
Hendrick, a Shimba, joined the EHRA team in June 2008 and has brought with him a wealth of experience. He spent 13 years working for the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and 3 years working with Operation Raleigh. During his time with the Ministry he covered many different areas of work, including training with Save the Rhino Trust and guiding and tracking elephants and lions in the Huab River area for a number of years. His knowledge and background make him an integral part of the team who is vital for communicating with the local communities to increase their understanding and cooperation with EHRA's efforts on their behalf. When not working with EHRA, Hendrick spends his time on his farms near the Grootberg and Ruacana with his family.
Volunteer Project Manager
Christophe has been with EHRA since the end of 2011 and is originally from Mauritius. Chris is a qualified Field Guide (FGASA) and has previously worked in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, training other students to complete the qualification. Chris has specific experience with wild animals and in particular keeping groups of people safe during encounters. Chris has learnt the lay of the land and the ways of the elephants from his trusty side-kick Mattias and has overall responsibility for the volunteer project. Chris has an unstoppable enthusiasm for the elephants and the African bush, even including scorpions, snakes and spiders!!!
Volunteer Project Coordinator
Victro has worked for EHRA since February 2009. She is a Damara who was born and bred in Swakopmund; in fact Victro spent her first night ever camping at the EHRA Base Camp on the volunteer project! Victro is super organised and coordinates all volunteer arrangements and keeps the EHRA office running smoothly.
Dr. Betsy Fox
PEACE Project Leader and Research Consultant
Dr. Betsy Fox, originally from the USA has lived in Namibia since the 1990. Betsy, a trained veterinarian, has led an amazing life amongst Namibia's wildlife. Betsy lived for 7.5 years in Etosha National Park, working for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, before transferring to the nearby town of Outjo to become Conservation Scientist for the Kunene Region, a post she held for 9.5 years. Since retirement in May 2008, Betsy has been working with EHRA on a consultancy basis and heads up the PEACE Project. Betsy is a devout elephant enthusiast with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Betsy is also one of the most fascinating characters you may ever meet and has been a great friend of EHRA since it started.
EHRA Base Camp Manager
Adolf, also a Herero, manages the EHRA base camp. Adolf is very particular about the camp and is often seen raking the banks of the Ugab River! Adolf also lives locally and has first hand knowledge of the problems involved in living with the resident herds of elephants. Adolf also joins works on the school and family projects and also manages all the logistics for the EHRA fundraising treks.
Director US Operations
Doreen first came to EHRA as a volunteer for 4 weeks in 2006. During this time she developed an unstoppable passion for the work EHRA does and returned just a few months later. In 2007 Doreen spent 3 months with EHRA predominately helping with the school project. Doreen has set up a partnership with her local library in New York to provide books and funding for A. Gariseb Primary and has raised a huge amount of money to further the development at the school. Doreen is now responsible for EHRA's operations in the US.