CAF awarded Namita Kandel a grant for her play at the Children’s Conservation Theatre, which brings together educators, theatre artists, and secondary-level students to raise awareness about the endangered animals who call Nepal home. The play is focused on the declining population of nature’s cleaners, the scavenger birds: vultures. Their absence has led to a near collapse of Nepal’s ecosystems and, as result, their human social systems as well. Namita seeks to highlight the importance of scavenger birds within the ecosystem, even if local populations have a negative view of them. Namita is Program Coordinator for the Roots & Shoots Program at the Jane Goodall Institute in Nepal, and a freelance writer. She lives in Lalitpur, a part of greater Kathmandu.
Namita’s use of theatrical performances to raise awareness about vultures is shared by 2023 grantee Gustavo Sanchez Lopez in Colombia, where his Teatro Tironeta is educating local communities about the importance of conserving opossums.
Namita shares the goal of changing cultural perceptions towards birds with the 2022 grantee Kaduma Ni Karol. The Philippines-based band uses music, video, and performance to encourage the community to stop and report the shooting of banogs (kites) and other birds.
To learn more about Namita’s work, you can read her interview about protecting the vultures of Nepal here.