It is exactly 15 years since the birth of our ASSETS programme in 2001. The journey has not been easy ensuring that the promise we made back then is fulfilled. The ASSETS Eco-bursaries have been coming from our esteemed donors and proceeds from our Eco-tourism projects in Mida Creek and Gede Ruins.
Fueled by the conviction of conserving our Arabuko Sokoke Forest and Mida Creek together with the community members at large, there have been financial constraints, inadequate support from some of the community members and accountability issues which mar the project. However we have withstood the storm and heeded to the vision, “nature conserved people transformed”; it’s what you use that makes a difference and creates the echoes of the raising voice”
ASSETS, which has stood the test of time, has been able to disburse scholarships to many bright and needy students that come from the villages adjacent to Arabuko Sokoke Forest, amidst difficult years for the tourism industry since most of the funds are sourced from the ecotourism facilities at Mida Creek and Gede Ruins. It is due to all these that we thought it right for some time now that we think of another finance generation project that will keep us going. Though it may not bring a lot of returns in this near future we are certain that it will surely help in the future.
Chicken rearing is the project we embarked on beginning this year. It’s not only about paying for their bursaries, but also educating them on how to care for the creation. We have seen it right that there is need for the young children who are growing up to be educated on the environment so as to cultivate a positive curiosity that will drive them to conserve and protect their environment so that in reality they can witness the above imagination. Barlow, in Confluence of Streams, puts it nicely: “children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for nature. Properly cultivated, these values can turn into sustainable patterns of living.”
The chicken rearing is not only to generate funds but also to be a platform where the community can come and learn how to rear local chickens in their homesteads. This will reduce the pressure on the habitats we are conserving for our endangered species. Educating the young generation will influence the whole community at large.