Remember the story of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19? How Jesus healed them and only one came back to show his appreciation to God?
I will never forget this one time i attended a Sunday school service in one of my friend’s church; Moses, a Reverend at St. Andrew’s ACK church. The teachings for that day was about the ten lepers-after reading the bible verse he asked the children what they thought about the story; one little boy said,”Jesus must have been so happy that somebody thanked him” i was marveled at the response of the little boy. How many times do you seat down and reflect on the countless blessings God has bestowed you and appreciated ?
We are pleased by the letter below that one of the ASSETS beneficiaries Ngombo Lillian Tabu wrote us showing her sincere appreciation to ASSETS and the A Rocha Kenya in general.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
May the Almighty God’s favor and blessing follow you wherever you may go Lillian; you will always be in our hearts and remembered in our prayers.
The ASSETS Program conducts camps in two folds one when A Rocha staff go to the schools and camp for a week, this happens in April in every calendar year. The other camp happens in August in every calendar subject to funding. The August camp invited participants are beneficiaries, parents and wildlife clubs of Kenya Patrons from selected areas. The objective of this event is to impact the beneficiaries with environmental conservation knowledge so that they able to use it in school and at home with their parents and friends.
The topics that are emphasized on include Creation care “ God is the creator of everything and man was created to take care of God’s creation”, A Rocha’s five Cs-conservation, community, cross-cultural, cooperation and Christianity, ASSETS conditions, Career choice and development and drug abuse and HIV/AIDS.
In addition that the beneficiaries are also taken to snorkeling, Gede ruins, Mida creek where they visit our Eco-facilities: tree house at Gede ruins, the boardwalk at Mida creek (enjoying the biodiversity around).
It has been two years now since our last ASSETS camp; we are hoping and praying to raise enough funds to hold one next year (April 2015).
On the 7th of October 2014, we held a grand opening ceremony for the new Environmental Education resource facility. Bishop Julius Kalu officiated the official opening.
We had several entertainments as the ceremony was taking place from primary school students, an ASSETS beneficiary, a choir and a play by the community. The ASSETS beneficiary a young bright man from Gede boy’s high school gave a small talk on how the program has played an important role in his life and the importance of conserving the environment.
The primary school students presented two songs about the dangers of not conserving the environment, the importance and urged the people to conserve the environment. The choir also did a wonderful job to emphasize on the same singing a wonderful song about the environment.
The community wasn’t left behind they performed a play: a group of parents whose kids benefit from the program. They illustrated very well why people should not go around poaching elephants and other wild animals and the consequences of such actions.
The entertainment was…i cant really find the right words to describe it but let me say it was simply breathtaking!
The community conservation officer (Festus) and I made a visit to St. Thomas girl’s high school. Though the visit was very brief, it was an amazing experience to interact with the student. We did get a chance to interview her and had a talk with her about how she’s doing in her studies, her goals and what plans she has for her future. Her name is Jackline Kazungu. She started schooling this year in the month of February. She comes from Kahingoni a village 3km from the Arabuko sokoke forest.
Jackline first learnt about ASSETS program way back in her primary school (Kahingoni primary school) from one of their teachers. The teacher was a patron of the wildlife club in their school. He encouraged the students to join the club since being a member of the club was one of the requirements of being selected as an ASSETS beneficiary.
She joined the wildlife club and learnt a lot about what A Rocha Kenya really does and conserving the environment became her passion. She did quite well in school and was also selected to benefit from our program. Jackline wishes to become a doctor in future.
She is a bright young lady and we pray that she achieves her dreams!
On a typical working day for the Mweria group in Dakatcha (farming God’s way): the group meets at the working site at 9am in the morning.
Women carry water drinking water and every member brings a cup of maize flour and twenty shillings for lunch while the owner of the farm brings pots and plates. The first order of business is prayers, members make a circle, go on their knees, pick a lamp of soil in both hands and two volunteers say prayers of blessing and restoration for the land.
The members then spread over the land, work as they chat and share stories till lunch break and work resumes thereafter and ends with a prayer. Really inspiring isn’t it?
After the days target area of cultivation has been accomplished, the group closes with a prayer.”For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20).
Imagine a world without sustainable land, or living oceans! Our natural resources exist in a fragile balance and are vulnerable to environmental changes. That’s why it’s important that we all do our part to conserve, preserve, and care for the Earth’s resources and protect the environment that sustains us.
A Rocha Kenya team made a visit to Mekatilili School and taught the pupils the importance of being good stewards of the earth- for all of us have to share the Earth’s fragile ecosystems and precious resources, and each of us has a role to play in preserving them.
The theme of the days environmental education was;” ecosystem is a complex set of relationship among the living resources, habitats, and residents of an area.” The function was successful and pupils were encouraged and promised to take care of the environment.
We need to be proactive in protecting the earth’s ecological balance. If we are to go on living together on this earth, we must all be responsible for it.
In a forest ecosystem, living things are interdependent, and they are also dependent on water, light, temperature, space, topography, soil type, chemicals, nutrients and other factors. If something in an ecosystem changes drastically, for example, if there is a sudden change in weather or even cutting down forests for development or agricultural purposes obviously reduces their biodiversity.
A Rocha Kenya joined the David Ngala, two KFS rangers, Mvera wa ASSETS parents and the beneficiaries themselves for a snare walk in Arabuko sokoke forest. The purpose of the snare walk was to create awareness and to help remove any snares they come across and take action on any other illegal activities.
We dint observe any active snares but we saw two old snares (probably 3months old), logging of trees for timber and building. It was a productive walk for the Mijomboni parents and beneficiaries had firsthand experience of what poachers have turned our forest into.
We are hoping and praying that the word will spread, the destruction of our forests to stop and conserving it to be our passion.
It’s amazing how many hearts one can touch by simply giving. Through A Rocha Kenya’s ASSETS program hope has been restored and dreams have come true. Chipande, a group of parents of the students who have benefited from ASSETS program gathered together to prepare a nursery bed.
Chipande is one among many of the clusters of villages in the same neighborhood formed by parents of those students who have benefited from the ASSETS program. The parents belonging to these clusters meet regularly at the schools to cultivate the trees seedlings that will later be distributed.
The students will cater for the tree seedlings until they are ready to be distributed. Wouldn’t you want to touch a child’s heart today? Put a smile on his/her face? …these children are our tomorrow’s future!
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:16.
The Farming God’s ways A Rocha Kenya’s project has made it possible for farmers to form a Mweria working system that has been established in Mulunguni and Boyani where villagers meet in a member’s farm to work.
The exercise is on-going at the moment, the well watered gardens are coming up ok, though slightly below our expectations mainly because the manure used was of very poor quality, almost fresh. Nevertheless this did not break the farmers’ spirit at all as a matter of fact it was a significant lesson learnt. For they will be far more careful next time; just like the saying ” once bitten twice shy”.
The already trained members undertook the training under supervision and with the help of the field staff after a one day training and rehearsal on their own. This has already started off successfully. The trained villagers take it upon themselves to train other fellow farmers. Strict rules and fines were made for the success of the system. The farmers made a lot of sacrifices ; the willingness to avail themselves and to be patient to learn and to even go ahead and enlighten fellow farmers on the same.
We hope that the system will continue on successfully and hope that God will continue blessing us all the way.
God’s ways are not a man’s. He exists for all, believers and non-believers alike. He also touches every heart in a special way. A Rocha Kenya gives thanks for God has been merciful and faithful. We have been praying for funds for bursaries and God did it again. The Christ church came through and we managed to allocate and disburse bursaries for 27 new students. God surely is working in our lives.
” Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”- Luke 6: 38