Rafael Kambale Nzala is my name. I was born in Shabunda in South Kivu in 1953. I am married to Saverine Kyakimwi Sikolastique with whom I have nine children. I am an Inspector and at present I am Jean Bosco’s assistant in the Briquette Program.
I went to primary school in Chabunda where my father was Chief of Personnel in a mining company. The work dried up and he decided to return to his native village of Butembo. So we went with him. I was 14 years old and had only been in secondary school for two years when my Father died. I had no-one to pay for my studies. A friend of mine who worked in conservation suggested that I join the Ranger Service. After training I was posted to Lulimbi Station as an air photographer for the Lulimbi Laboratory. It was a good start for me because I got to work in planes. We did four outings per week and then two days at the laboratory. We were responsible for counting the hippopotamuses.
It’s worth mentioning that Lulimbi was the most important scientific research station in all of Congo’s National Parks. After a while the scientist running the project, Mr Delvin, finished his contract and returned to Europe and I resumed the normal duties of a Ranger. After Lulimbi I worked in Rwindi where I stayed for seven years. Now I’m at Kiwanja. My children will follow me into the Ranger Service. An awareness of the importance of conservation is one of the most wonderful things you can leave to your children.