Selection of new ASSETS beneficiaries for year 2008. Friday the 7th marked the climax of a 3 week long exercise that saw over 70 students being selected to receive scholarships from the ASSETS eco-bursary fund. This process that started with the whole of the ASSETS team visiting all applicants to assess their families' ability to pay schools fees for the children ended up with the ASSETS Bursary sub-committee meeting to do the actual selection. This year the meeting was held at Malindi Town Secondary school where one of the committee members teaches instead of the usual forest station conference hall and it lasted for just under 6 hrs.
This year, a record 95 students from the 8 ASSETS beneficiary schools applied for bursaries. The very enthusiastic bursary sub-committee has never been as strict in their consideration of applicants as they were this year. This was to ensure that bursaries reach those in most need whilst maximising their input in conservation of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and Mida Creek. The ASSETS beneficiaries
ASSETS has so far secured sponsorship for 5 of these students from AGGREKO, a UAE based Electrical Engineering firm as part of their Social Corporate responsibility. AGGREKO will be supporting these students through secondary school and University. A major task to secure funding to support the rest still lingers, considering the blow suffered by the tourism industry following the disputed presidential elections on December 27th.