Hi! I’m Edwin. When I was a little boy, I was in the Compassion program. I lived in a small village in Kenya, but now I live in the big city of Nairobi. I am the head elephant keeper at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. It’s a place where orphaned elephants are cared for.
At the Wildlife Trust, Kenyans call us when they ﬁnd an orphaned elephant. An orphaned elephant has lost its mother. Sometimes people kill elephant mothers to take their ivory tusks, and sometimes a ﬂood or drought separates baby elephants from their mothers.
Just like human babies, elephant calves depend on their mothers to care for them. The mama elephants protect them, feed them, keep them warm, and give them love. So when baby elephants are orphaned, elephant keepers become their family.
When people are sad and hopeless, they need God and their friends and family to come around them and remind them to keep going, too. That’s what Compassion did for me. The workers helped take care of me when I was young. And now that’s one of my most important jobs with the baby elephants. Have you ever heard that an elephant never forgets? That’s true! Many orphans at Sheldrick are sad because they remember when their mothers died. Some elephants even die from a broken heart.
That’s why the elephant keepers stay with the sad baby elephants 24 hours a day. We make sure they travel together as a group, and we sleep with them so they’re never alone. We hug them and speak kindly to them.
I always remind the elephants that I believe in them, just as people at my Compassion center believed in me. I tell them, “Don’t give up. Keep ﬁghting. You can make it!” When you treasure people or animals, they can tell that you love them, and it will help them grow strong!