While some childhoods are full of hopscotch games at recess and Saturday morning cartoons, others grow up with the wilderness as their backyard, surrounded by gentle grey giants and ferocious big cats. Those are the stories celebrated in National Geographic's new documentary, which highlights mothers working in wildlife conservation and more. In an exclusive clip from Women of Impact: Changing the World shared with Romper ahead of its premiere, three mothers and prominent conservationists discuss how they've shared their careers with their children and inspired them to be passionate about preserving wildlife, too.
Take Laly Lichtenfeld, co-founder and CEO of African People & Wildlife, who is raising her young daughter, Kemah, in the Tanzanian bush. "She is a bush girl, she's growing up 100% of her time out in the wild of Tanzania," Lichtenfeld says in the clip below. "We live on the edge of Tarangire National Park and she is growing up with an incredible appreciation for all things wild."
Lichtenfeld says her daughter knows "mama is the lion lady" and she wants to "protect cheetahs and rhinos" when she grows up. "[She] has told me that she plans to bring the rhino back," Lichtenfeld says.
Women of Impact: Changing the World also features Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, a wildlife veterinarian in Uganda, conservation biologist, and founder of Conservation Through Public Health. Kalema-Zikusoka's passion for her work protecting endangered mountain gorillas has also trickled down to her sons. "They're definitely much more knowledgeable about wildlife and animals than other children their age," she says in the clip, "and they appreciate nature much more."
Poole's daughter Selengei, now an adult, has grown up around wildlife and elephants all her life, watching her mother study elephants' behavior since she was a baby. "I first brought my daughter Selengei to the elephant camp when she was 4 months old," Poole says in the clip, adding that her daughter's "love for animals" has led her to an opportunity working in conservancy in Kenya.
Women of Impact: Changing the World, narrated by Julianna Margulies, is just one of many inspiring projects to come from National Geographic lately showcasing the groundbreaking work of trailblazing women all across the globe. Earlier this month, for instance, National Geographic released a stunning book containing 450 striking photographs from the magazine's archives, which Susan Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of National Geographic Magazine, previously told Romper serves as a "visual history of women."
The November 2019 issue of National Geographic Magazine is also dedicated to this theme as it's "exclusively written and photographed by women." In an editor's letter, Goldberg says the issue "[aims] to bring more women’s lives into the light — and more women’s voices into the conversation."
To see more of these inspiring stories, be sure to catch Women of Impact: Changing the World on the National Geographic Channel on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 10 p.m. EST.