Meeting Potential ASSETS Beneficiaries

On the truck, off we zoomed. On a hot bright afternoon we head off to the western side of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest. Make a wild guess; to which school this time? Yes! Your right. It is Malanga primary school, one of the ASSETS benefiting primary schools. After a long drive on the dusty road here we are finding parking for our truck. The class 8 candidates had already been informed of our going by their teachers. So they were expectant students eager to hear from us. We have brought you good news; we started our talk after the introduction. Their eyes and ears went wide open. My colleague Tsofa did general introduction of A Rocha Kenya which brought forth the ASSETS programme. As Tsofa was winding up, hands were raised to ask questions. The first question was what do I need to benefit in the ASSETS scheme? It’s a question all wanted to ask. Hold your horses, Tsofa replied as I took them through the details of the recruitment criteria. Which is as follows:- All the candidates from the eight ASSETS benefiting primary schools have equal potential to benefit, students must have been in these schools for 3 years or more, they should attain 320marks or more in the national exam out of the 500 marks, they should have good track record of discipline, they should have interest in conservation, be a radius of 3km from the edge of the forest to their respective homes and lastly they should have won admission in any public secondary school in the country.  The candidates who were 37 in total got a sigh of relief after this talk. Ours was to motivate them as they approach their national exams in 46 days time. Their Deputy Head Teacher Mr. Thuva encouraged them too, saying ‘despite your poor backgrounds work extra hard you never know’. He continued, ‘you all stand to benefit’. He also cited examples of former students of this school who are currently beneficiaries of the ASSETS scheme despite their poor backgrounds. As we were winding up, we wished them every success in their coming exams.  Tony Kanundu (Bats) – ASSETS Community Conservation Officer