ASSETS Big Debate

"Arabuko-Sokoke Forest should be cleared for farmland and settlement" was the title of an educational motion on the first day of ASSETS beneficiaries meetings at Bogamachuko. The students were split into two groups of opposers and proposers while Mr Tsofa Mweni played "Mr speaker sir" This role play was designed to expose the students to the issues facing Arabuko-Sokoke Frest today. Despite afew of them truggling to express themselves in English, their points came out very clear. It was quite impressive to see how much the students knew about the forest; ranging from rain attraction to species extinction. The new ASSETS beneficiaries had a chance to learn from the others the rationale behind the ASSETS eco-bursary scheme. While the students were doing their learning through a debate and role play, the parents were seperately engaged in a discussion about the most sustainable way of utilising the forest. Not surprising, the newly selected beneficiaries did not have any idea about the eco-tourism value of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. They however left the meeting with a new messege for their families that there are people who come all the way from Europe and America to see the Golden-rumped elephant shrew in the forest; what an odd way of spending ones money! they might have thought. The meetings continue!