Located in N'dele, Central African Republic, this memorial was erected in honor of eight Rangers killed in action during counter poaching operations in 2009.
Dr. Randy McKinney photo
"Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”
I want to try to explain to you exactly what it means to become part of Team AWI. The problem that I face in doing this is that mere words are wholly inadequate in explaining a heartfelt emotion. And that is what being part of Team AWI is, the heartfelt emotion of being part of something far, far bigger than just you or me or us. So please bear with me for a few moments while I give this a shot.
The members of Team AWI are not just volunteers, interns, or employees. We are so much more than that. We are a band of brothers and sisters with one common goal, to stop elephant poaching and rescue child sex slaves in Africa. We are dedicated to the organization and to the positive outcome of the mission, and we are dedicated to each other.
To be a team member in any position at AWI is very hard and demanding work with long hours, some of them very stressful hours, and many of them seemingly thankless. And most people cannot handle the isolation of living from three months to a year in an extremely remote, and by most people standards, primitive tent-camp environment. There are no shopping malls, no movie theaters, no cell phone service, no texting, there is not even a store of any kind...nothing. What we take with us is all there is, period. The opportunities for resupply are few and far between. You must be able to withstand high heat and humidity, all manner of mosquitoes, bugs, spiders and some snakes, with some of the snakes being very poisonous. If you are working from our forward operating base in the Central African Republic, at times it can be very dangerous. There is always a chance that the poachers will attack our compound, but we do everything that we can to keep that from happening.
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”~~ Helen Keller
Am I trying to discourage you? Not at all. What I am trying to get across to you is this: I don’t want anyone to show up with visions of romance and grandeur from watching too many reality TV shows or old Tarzan movies. Life in the African bush is harsh…..and then sometimes it gets worse.
“Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.” ~~ Cicero
“If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we will find something new.”~~ Voltaire
To qualify to become part of Team AWI, among other things, you have to be in good health, great physical shape, have the ability and willingness to work with other cultures, have a clear quick thinking mind, a heart of compassion, faith in a positive outcome, and be a team player in every sense of the word. And we are an unabashedly Christian organization. We pray as a group every day.
Jsoiah, Gilbert Holland (1819-1881) said it best when he penned these famous words: "God give us men (and women!) a time like this demands. Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;...."
If what we are doing was easy, the parking lot would be full. And it is not. In fact, there is not even a parking lot.
"Where there is adversity there is opportunity, and the greater the adversity the greater the opportunity." Dr. Randy McKinney
Let’s face reality here……you don’t make real friends on Facebook or by texting each other or hanging out at the mall together. The environment that you will find yourself in with Team AWI makes lifelong friendships forged in the fire of adversity, because we all depend on one another. Friendships that actually mean something. “Friend” will no longer be a word that you just casually throw around, it will take on an entire new and important meaning in your life.
And I will also tell you this without reservation, this will be the most rewarding thing that you have ever done! You will be directly involved with helping to stop the complete extermination of African elephants and to rescue child sex slaves and child soliders. What could possibly be more rewarding than that?! And you will be in a place that most people can’t even find on a map, much less visit. You will see things that will make a lifelong impression on you…..you will return home a new and better person for your experience.
So what do you think? Do you have what it takes to be part of Team AWI? We encourage you to send us a very detailed resume'/CV and a cover letter explaining why you want to become part of our Team. Why all the detail? Because we want to know what makes you tick. If we receive a one pager, it will go straight into the shredder. We also require three personal references that are NOT your relatives. You can email us your resume’/CV. The contact information is below.
If you don’t see a position listed below that you think you are qualified for, or if you are not interested in any of these positions but still want to work with us, please send us your resume’/CV anyway. You might be surprised.
Oh, and one other thing. This is a non-smoking, non-drug and alcohol free work place. Everyone has to pass a pre-employment, a pre-departure, and random urinalysis for drugs, and there is no second chance. If you can’t pass, then please don’t apply.
“The choices you make today will be in your biography tomorrow. Make interesting choices and you will have an interesting biography.” James Altucher
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Randy & The Human Resources Team
Current open positions:
Salaried positions: Contact us to learn how these programs work.
Super Cub Pilot: Must have Piper PA-18 Super Cub time. Applicant MUST have the following: 2.000 hrs TT in make and model with a minimum of 1.500 hours of Alaska time, Commercial and CFI ratings, extensive remote field experience, be a team player, be able to deal with several types of very poisonous snakes; have a valid passport and a yellow fever vaccination card, be able to pass pre-employment, pre-deployment and random drug screenings. The following experiences are very big pluses: Africa and / or Alaska bush experience; A&P with Super Cub rebuild experience; Military combat experience; Pilots born and raised on a ranch or farm. Location will be at the African Wildlife Initiative Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the Central African Republic, or another African country where AWI might be working. The FOB is a very remote but with nice tent camp with showers. No cell phone or internet service, no flush toilets. Lodging, meals and laundry facilities provided at the FOB. Transportation from the USA to the FOB will be furnished. The successful applicant will fly in a sometimes hostile theaters. Missions will include but not be limited to: Wildlife Surveys; Reconnaissance; Insert and Extract Rangers in our extensive Area of Operation (AO) for engagement with poachers; Act as a command and control platform to direct Rangers on the ground; MEDIVAC of wounded Rangers, VIP Flights, and Freight Flights. Salary depends on experience. Minimum commitment is three (3) months in country. This is a non-smoking and non-drinking and drug free work environment. Primadonna and snowflake pilots need not apply! Send us a detailed resume' and a cover letter stating why you want to be part of our team in the Central African Republic and why you think you will be good at it.
A&P Mechanic very experienced with Piper PA-18 Super Cubs, including air frame and rag repairs. Must be an excellent TIG welder and be highly experienced in all facets of Super Cub repairs and maintenance, including air frame and rag repairs. Location will be at the African Wildlife Initiative base in the Central African Republic or another country where AWI is working. Applicant must have remote field experience. Africa or Alaska bush experience is a very big plus. The successful applicant will perform all Super Cub maintenance and repairs, and all vehicle maintenance and repairs, in a sometimes hostile environment, in all weather conditions without a hanger or shop facility, at any hour of the day or night as required. Salary depends on experience. Minimum commitment is three (3) months in country.
Experienced Combat Medic, EMT, Paramedic, PA, or ER qualified RN. Position will be at the African Wildlife Initiative base in the Central African Republic or another country where AWI is working, in a sometimes hostile environment. Must have experience in remote settings. Successful applicant will be required to provide onsite medical assistance to team members and locals on an as needed basis 24/7. In addition, if team members are injured while in the field the successful applicant will be required to travel with other team members to rescue and evacuate the injured personnel, knowing that this part of the assignment can become dangerous at times. Salary depends on experience. Minimum commitment is three (3) months in country
Director of Development: The successful applicant will be in charge of developing and maintaining positive long
lasting relationships with donors, and planning and executing fund raising events for AWI. This position requires a person with well rounded experience in not only fund raising for a non profit organization but also setting goals, developing marketing materials and strategies, and planning events. The successful applicant will also help AWI continue to grow by recruiting, scheduling and training volunteers to aid in bringing on board key donors and groups. A minimum commitment is 24 months in the USA.
Volunteer and Internships: Contact us to learn how these programs work.
Chiropractor (DC): Position will be split between African Wildlife Initiative forward operating base, and the orphans home in the Central African Republic, or another country where AWI is working, in a sometimes hostile environment. Successful applicant will be required to provide onsite chiropractic care to team members and locals 8 hours a day four (4) days a week and on an emergency basis 24/7. Retired DC's are encouraged to apply. Minimum commitment is three (3) months in country
Gardener: Position will be at the African Wildlife Initiative base in the Central African Republic, or another country where AWI is working, in a sometimes hostile environment. Must have some experience in vegetable gardening, irrigation, and building garden fences. Minimum commitment is three (3) months in country.
Cook: Position will be at the African Wildlife Initiative base in the Central African Republic, or another country where AWI is working, in a sometimes hostile environment. Successful applicant will be experienced in remote camp cooking for crews of 6 to 15 people. Will be required to cook three meals a day and provide snacks while catering to any Team member that might have a food allergy. Successful applicant will also be required to order all food stuffs prior to the Teams departure. Will also have to pass cooking test prior to hiring. Minimum commitment is six (6) months in country.
African Wildlife Initiative
2521 E. Mtn Village Dr.
Ste. B #552
Wasilla, Alaska 99654 USA
"No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well being, to risk his body, to risk his life in a great cause." Theodore Roosevelt