Why Grant Writing?
In preparation for my internship to Ecuador, as part of my MSc degree, I was in search of some funding to help alleviate the financial pressure. I was determined to not allow the lack of money to deter me from undertaking this - a dream to carry out conservation work in the Amazon. Furthermore, I was aware that real-life or field experience was important for me to have as I pursued a career in wildlife conservation. So, with this attitude in mind, I was confident I was going to find that one grant I needed, quickly fill in all the required information, hand it in. Easy peasy, right? Three months later, I returned submerged in a €2.500 debt, with the rent and pending BSc loan, hanging over my head.
Interestingly enough, my bother is a partnership development officer for a local NGO in Indonesia, where a large part of his job entails finding grants, with sole purpose to raise money to fund conservation projects in Indonesia. Now, you are probably thinking, why did you not just ask him for help? I did, but I was simultaneously blinded my perception of grant writing (that it would be easy). On top of that, as time went on, my misperception thawed, and reality struck. I began to give up - I had to upload different documents, write specific sections relevant to the grant, it was an uphill battle and I had no idea how to tackle this. I was not alone in this though. As I was sharing my experience with him he mentioned that many of his classmates were either unaware of the fact that conservation funds existed or, like me, lacked the structure and knowledge to apply for grants they needed.
So, as the dust of chaos began to settle on my return from Ecuador, we talked about setting something up where we can expose students to more grants and help them with grant writing, so they can fearlessly go after their conservation dream without having to think twice of the financial repercussions. Conservation is important and highly needed in this day and time, and it would be a true loss, if people passionate about conservation were to leave the field due to financial restraints. However, there is lots of money in conservation, but it needs to be searched for. We believe that conservation should be an attainable choice of work and/or dream, and not a financial sacrifice one has to make to pursue it, and we would like to help people in achieving this as much as we possibly can.
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.