FounderThe GOSESO project concept has been spearheaded by native Tanzanian, Yared Fubusa. Yared was born and raised in a small village outside Gombe Stream National Park in western Tanzania under meager circumstances. He graduated from Mwandiga Middle School in 1993 and Milambo High School in 1996.

During his middle school years, Yared became one of the founding members and spokesperson of Jane Goodall's global program for the youth, Roots & Shoots. He was instrumental in helping launch outreach programs for the Jane Goodall Institute in western and central Tanzania. In the mid-1990's, Yared served as a young field research assistant hired by Dr. Jane Goodall, and the seed for his interest in community-based conservation and wildlife protection was planted.

While working at Gombe, Yared hosted a group of high school students and their three chaperons from Virginia who called themselves the African Primates Environmental Study (APES) group. As their gift to Tanzania, the APES group secured his admission to Longwood University in Virginia and raised money for his airfare. He enrolled at Longwood University in the spring semester of 1997.

Founder-imgYared earned a Bachelor's Degree in Economics at Longwood University in 2000 and a Master's Degree in Parks Management and Eco-Tourism from the University of Utah in 2003. He spent the 2003/04 academic year teaching at the University of Virginia. He is currently in his final year of Ph.D. candidacy at Utah State University, where he excels in sustainable livelihoods, rural economy and local institution building.

Yared has frequently appeared as a keynote speaker at various American educational institutions, including major universities, with talks given in 44 states. He has been featured in various local and international media on the future of Africa and sustainable wildlife management in the continent. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has identified him as a distinguished social scientist. His empowering message of hope moves people, especially youth, to take action to make the world a better place.

Yared believes that any promotion of sustainable wildlife management in Africa must take into account the basic needs of people. Humans live in and with their environment, not apart from it. Instead of a rigid top-down approach to education that once raised him in Africa, he envisions a new action-oriented approach in which teachers and students learn from each other. His approach to education encourages youth to think critically and become active participants in their local communities' efforts to conserve the environment and improve the quality of life.

Yared's account of a shocking human-wildlife conflict that changed his life:

I have forgotten the day and the month, but I still remember my first encounter with slaughtered primates. I was no more than five years old when my village hired a group of hunters whose job was to kill all crop-raiding primates in the Great African Rift Valley mountains surrounding the village.

As a child I saw countless heads, legs, and hands of baboons on display in the government building in the center of the village. Almost everybody in the village came to see their 'enemy' animals that had crippled the subsistence economy and hindered crop productivity for centuries. Many of my friends were jubilant to see dead wild animals, but I never felt that way.

What I saw were heads of baboons that bore remarkable similarities to humans. As far as I can remember, watching their dead open eyes was like watching the eyes of my grandmother who had died the year before. Their faces clearly bore an uncanny resemblance to many people in the village. Their dark eyes had the color of my own.

Even at that age, I felt that wild animals near our village were in danger and that their end was near. I now understand the connection between the plight of wildlife and the economic realities facing our people.