Volunteering inspired me!

My names are Tony Kanundu alias Bats; I work for ASSETS  as a Community Conservation Officer.  I grew up at Gede 500m from the edge of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. I am named Kanundu after my grandfather who was really a character of his kind. Locally, the name has two meanings. In Swahili language, Kanundu is a small hump of any animal and in Giriama, my first language, Kanundu is a bat; the flying mammal. Guess which character I am! My grandfathers’ characters resembled those of a bat but he could neither fly nor was he nocturnal. He was known to be tricky and a strategist and he could do things many people didn’t believe. He could disperse a crowd helter-skelter with his own intention, the same way Drogba can cut through a solid defense call it of any soccer team. When I was taught about mammals in high school, I was very amazed to learn the real character of the real flying mammal. As my grandpa could do, a bat which is nocturnal moves in a very marvelous way, without eyes it uses echo-location. As it flies lazily, it sends rays ahead and if there are any obstacles, the rays are reflected back to it and the Bat changes its route and it is able to enjoy its world in the night.  As I grew at age 14 I joined a local football club, Clarkes Weaver which was supported by Kenya Wildlife Service, Gede Forest station. The playing field was right in the forest and this was an opportunity to see wild animals. Apart from playing football I was voluntarily involved in small forest conservation activities. During and after high school I was very active member of the football club and later through my local church I joined A Rocha Kenya as a volunteer in the ASSETS programme. After 14 months volunteering, I had significant know how on the environment and the community around and the need for its involvement in conservation of the natural resources. This was a good time for me to move on. I stopped volunteering and joined Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute where I studied Environmental Management for 2 years. Early January 2007, a few weeks before I graduated, I was called up by the ASSETS Co-ordinator to take up this job in the Community project. Ever since, I am enjoying working with the communities for the environment from the environment.