As a volunteer run organization Nikela exists because of the generous help of volunteers from around the world.
Our Volunteers are the Best!
Ever so often someone special comes along. Someone with great skills, passion and dedication to help. Today we highlight one such person who has been with us for well over a year and made some great contributions.
Meet Wendy Sotos…
Wendy is from Ohio in the USA. She is a go-getter beyond belief. She goes to school, works and volunteers for Nikela and at least one other organization. Yes, we’ve also asked ourselves, “When does this girl sleep?”
How did you come to love Africa’s wildlife?
I have always loved all animals since I was a little girl and one of my favorite toys from childhood (which I still have) was a Noah’s Ark complete with several pairs of animals (and Noah too!) Though I loved all animals, rhinos (and all African animals) and alligators were especially my favorites.
How did you find out about Nikela?
I am a graphic design student (and published/freelance writer) and I was looking for someplace I could intern. I want to find a graphic design/writing job in the animal welfare field, so I started my search with that. From there, I narrowed my search to helping rhinos since they are my favorite animal.
What inspired you to volunteer?
I wanted to make a difference. Whenever I read/heard about the plight of the rhinos I always got sad and had always wished I could find a way to save them (which isn’t very easy when you live in Ohio.) I wanted to be a “voice” for the rhinos.
What is your Nikela Volunteer assignment?
I’ve done some blogs and such, but my biggest assignment to date was writing the Nikela e-book: Wildlife Trafficking: Its Impact on the Rhino Yesterday and Today. Currently, I am learning how to make videos etc and hope to soon make one for Nikela.
Why is saving and protecting our planet’s wildlife and their habitat important to you?
Again, it goes back to wanting to be the “voice” of the animal(s). Animals can’t fundraise for their cause, but we can.
Why do you think it should be important to others?
The signature to all my e-mails reads: “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” The quote is from Abraham Lincoln. I think it dovetails perfectly with what Nikela stands for, with a little from a lot, we can, and do make a difference. If we don’t work together to save our planet (especially the animals), it will also ultimately lead (I feel) to humankind’s extinction too.
Does/has your volunteer opportunity benefit you in other ways besides feeling good about doing good, if so how?: On a selfish level, Margrit’s given me the opportunity to be the rhino’s “voice” in many different tones. Whether I am writing about them, or learning something new, all these new skills and expanded skills I already have will hopefully land me my dream job of working in the animal welfare field.
Is there anything else about you that you think our readers would find inspiring/interesting/fun/surprising to learn about you or your experience while volunteering for Nikela?
Only that I love being a part of this organization and am very honored and grateful for this recognition (and very surprised by it too!)
Well its no surprise to all of us Wendy.
Please stop by and visit her website.
Wendy’s contributions include:
- Ebook: Wildlife Trafficking: Its Impact on the Rhino Yesterday and Today
- Rhinos of Africa Battle for Life
- Wildlife Crime: Some Serious Players Getting in the Game
- Help Us Buy an Air Ranger to Stop the Rhino Poachers