Published at 30/11/2022


Zélia da Laila, a young Mozambican woman, aged 26, born in Maputo province, graduated in Human Resources Management at Instituto Superior de Gestão e Empreendedorismo de Marracuene, was a beneficiary of the 3rd edition of the pre-professional internships of the Leadership Program for Conservation of Mozambique (PLCM), and she started her conservation experience in Chimanimani National Park (PNC).

“When I got the information that I would be allocated to the Chimanimani National Park, I wondered what I was going to do there, since I have a degree in Human Resources. I had no idea that my training area could be essential in a Conservation area”; said Zelia.

Zélia strengthened the Human Resources sector at CNP, by introducing a system to control the attendance and punctuality of the park’s officers, as well as introducing debates on different topics related to conservation and social issues during the team’s morning sessions, creating a new dynamic and engagement of technicians and employees.

One of her biggest challenges during her internship at CNP was communicating with the rangers, as most of them do not speak Portuguese. Zélia was challenged to learn a minimum of words in the local language (Citewe), as a way of ensuring communication with the rangers so that she could carry out her daily activities.

The interaction with the rangers and with a number of interns from technical and higher education institutions, from different places across the country and from different cultures, made Zélia a more humble and hardworking person, which helped her achieve various personal and institutional objectives.

After the first 6 months of internship at CNP, with good performance and dedication, Zélia was one of those chosen interns to extend her internship for another 6 month period, that was reassigned (due to the availability and convenience of the supervisor) to Limpopo National Park (LNP), where she is carrying on with the activities she developed at CNP and gathering new experiences in her training area and, above all, in Biodiversity Conservation.

“PLCM added cultural values ​​to my life, as it allowed me to interact with people from different places of the country, with different ways of thinking, being and acting in different situations. It also contributed to the improvement of my commitment to the activities assigned to me during the internship, and also to a better organization of my activities.”

“The PLCM is one of the few training and leadership programs that I know about, which gives young people the opportunity to undergo professional training in different conservation areas and institutions across the country. It awakened in me the will and desire to continue working in the conservation sector in Mozambique” – Says Zélia.”

The PLCM Pre-professional Internships program is implemented by the Foundation for the Conservation of Biodiversity (BIOFUND), in coordination with the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), with funding from the World Bank (IDA), under the Mozbio2 project. This program promotes, motivates and benefits young professionals from various areas of knowledge, highlighting the relevance and interaction of each of their professional areas, for the improvement of management, administration, study and protection of biodiversity and the sustainable use of our natural resources.

If you wish to be part of this great conservation family, please, apply for the 4th edition of the PLCM pre-professional internship program by clicking here