Meet the New Class of Fran Duthie Scholarship Recipients

The Fran Duthie African Elephant Conservation Scholarship overseen by Mara Elephant Project launched in 2022 and provides financial assistance to Kenyans pursuing conservation or related fields through a technical certificate, undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The inaugural recipient Janeth Jepkemboi (pictured left) is completing her MSc in Environmental Studies after spending time at MEP HQ in the first quarter, and now a new group of students is eager to follow her lead as the next recipients of the scholarship. After a thorough selection process, we are pleased to introduce the four new students receiving the Fran Duthie African Elephant Conservation Scholarship.


Sumaiyah Yakub is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management and Conservation. Sumaiyah is especially interested in animal research and eventually wants to open her own wildlife care center. Equally passionate about advocacy, she wants to have a more in depth understanding of animal welfare policies and put that knowledge into action by advocating for the rights of animals and their habitats.

“I want to be aware of the various research methodologies that can be practiced in the field to determine the adequate measures that need to be taken in the preservation of a specific species. "Being selected as a recipient of this scholarship is a great honor and it is like a beacon of hope that has lit up my path into the field of conservation.”

Sumaiyah Yakub

Mark Mako is a first-year student of Environmental Conservation and Natural Resource Management at the University of Nairobi. Growing up in Narok West, his exposure to wildlife sparked his passion for pursuing conservation to be able to protect and conserve the nature found in his own backyard. His mother has sacrificed a lot to fund Mark’s passion and the scholarship will help alleviate the financial burden on his family.

“This scholarship will allow me to enhance my academic knowledge and skills, which I plan to apply in service to my community and beyond. Moreover, this scholarship lays the groundwork for my professional career and demonstrates my commitment to giving back."

Mark Mako

Leshan Kantet Tipis is from Naroosura Majimoto Ward in Narok County and is finishing his second year at Maasai Mara University pursuing Tourism and Wildlife Management. He’s most interested in sustainable development and how that plays an important role in conservation. He chairs the Wildlife and Environmental Club at the university to hone his leadership skills.

"This scholarship comes at the perfect time and is the encouragement I need to continue on the path I’m on. I aim to be a dependable human protecting nature.”

Leshan Kantet Tipis

Mary Wangari is pursuing her BSc in Conservation Biology at Kenyatta University. In her third year of school, she’s especially focused on the community’s involvement in conservation and wants to foster that in her career. Growing up in the heart of the Mathare Slums with a single mother, her involvement with environmental clubs at school inspired her passion for conservation. Her ability to critically evaluate conservation strategies and effectively communicate them is a skill she is honing at school.

“Nature is my passion. I hope to embody the spirit of the Fran Duthie Scholarship and be an ambassador for conservation.”

Mary Wangari

Congratulations to all the new recipients of the Fran Duthie African Elephant Conservation Scholarship! We look forward to having you as an intern at Mara Elephant Project headquarters. Thank you to everyone who supports this amazing educational opportunity and a special thanks to Fran and Lorne Duthie for being major MEP champions.

To support the scholarship, visit our donate page and leave a note that it’s for the scholarship.