SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director and Co-Founder Gilbert Adum has gained admission to the University of Cambridge to pursue a Masters degree (MPhil) in Conservation Leadership. Cambridge University is one of the world’s top universities and the alma mater of luminaries like John Harvard (founder of Harvard University) and Charles Darwin (father of evolutionary biology). The Masters program is to equip Gilbert with the strategic leadership skills he needs to enable him to realize his long-term objective of making SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana a model and inspiration for conservationists throughout the African continent. The one of a kind program combines university lectures with nonprofit management practices and covers both the theory and practical aspects of conservation. The program also brings together passionate conservation leaders from around the world. This gives Gilbert an excellent opportunity to make contacts with like-minded conservationists and develop lasting collaborations.

Gilbert Adum Germany frogs
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Co-Founder Gilbert Adum speaks in Germany during his 2015 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship

Gilbert says it still seems like a dream that he has gained admission to Cambridge, the very college where Charles Darwin studied. But Gilbert also deserves some credit and Cambridge is lucky to have him.

Born into an ancient hunting tribe, he grew up in abject poverty and to this day his village home is still without electricity and running water. Yet growing up, when it was even unimaginably hellish for him, he competed well in academics with kids from the cities and rich families. In a nationwide exam in 1999, he scored A's in nearly all subjects, placing him in the top one percent in the country. Three years later (2002), in another exam written across English-speaking West Africa, he was one of only five students who made a distinction in Science in his home region. In 2014, Gilbert's first master’s thesis (at KNUST, Ghana’s premier science university) was nominated for the Micheletti & Co Ltd Prize for Best MSc Research Dissertation in West Africa. He has also already received several honors and awards, including becoming the first Ghanaian Chief for frogs and environment, winning a 2016 Green Oscar, 2015 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and 2011 Cambridge SCCS Prize Winner for Best Report.

Gilbert Adum Germany frogs

In Gilbert’s absence, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Associate Executive Director Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi will lead the team to continue saving Ghana’s frogs while improving local people’s livelihoods and rural kids’ education. The SAVE THE FROGS! team wishes Gilbert well in his studies at Cambridge, which will ensure he has the knowledge and connections to increase the effectiveness and reach of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana when he returns to his homeland.

Gilbert is supported by the prestigious Miriam Rothschild Scholarship. Gilbert has already begun his one-year program in the Department of Geography. His travel cost is supported by Wild Invest (courtesy of the founder, Diana Van de Kamp), and the UK-based business man Andrew Rodger and his family.

Gilbert Adum Cambridge
Gilbert Adum with Charles Darwin's biography poster in the background, at the University of Cambridge in the college where Darwin also studied.

 

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"I grew up in the backwoods of Louisiana. As a child, my grandmother used to tell me, "you will have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince." I would run around kissing frogs and she would laugh. She passed away many years ago. Frogs remind me of her. Throughout my life, frogs have had a symbolic meaning to me of change, hope, love, and home. Now that I moved back to Louisiana, I have a pond in my back yard so that I can hear the frogs at night. I am saddened by the fact that the tree frog population is dwindling. I am very environmentally conscious and try to keep my yard full of indigenous plants to help the local ecosystem."

Daphne Moran

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