Hello everyone! Our apologies for the long gap in updates, we have been going through some changes, and we have a lot of exciting news to share. We will soon be introducing our new ASSETS team, Festus and Bimbo, as well as giving an update on how Francis is doing. For today, we would like to introduce Mwamba Field Study Center's newest intern, Lydia Kayaa. She is 19, coming from the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest area, and has recently completed secondary school through the ASSETS program. Following is an interview with Lydia about her life and how ASSETS helped with her schooling.
How many brothers and sisters do you have? I have two sisters and three brothers. I am the third born.
What do your parents do for a living? They are peasant farmers.
When were you first involved in ASSETS? I was first involved in ASSETS by achieving the conditions that they had set. It was in the year 2007 when I joined Form 1. I completed Form 4 in 2010.
How did you come to be at Mwamba? I received a call from Stanley, that there was a space for a volunteer and so I came. I arrived on May 13th 2011.
What activities are you involved in at Mwamba and with ARK? Currently, I am assisting the cook in the kitchen. I have also assisted on a bird count in Malindi and Sabaki River Mouth.
Has your time here at Mwamba helped you to learn about the environment and wildlife? Yes. I’ve learned a lot of things about the environment and wildlife. I’ve learned about conserving the forest and the trees from the nature trail.
(At the ARK center, there is an interpretive nature trail highlighting many indigenous tree species, many of which are also present in the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. The nature trail is a great educational experience for visitors and staff.)
What do you hope to do in the future? I’m looking forward to attending university, though I don’t currently have a sponsor. I’m planning to take a degree course in education. I hope my dreams will come true!
Internships at the Mwamba Field Study Center offer a chance for ASSETS beneficiaries to receive training and experience in a variety of areas, such as hospitality (cooking and hosting guests), maintenance, environmental education, and research and monitoring. This experience can be very helpful for obtaining future employment or school placements. Since volunteers and staff are often from many different places around the world, there is also much cross-cultural teamwork, an experience that can be very broadening for everyone involved! This kind of opportunity could not be possible without donations and other forms of support. This helps provide opportunities that are often taken for granted. If you would like to donate to ASSETS, and help to contribute to real and lasting change in the lives of children near the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, please visit our donations page. Thank you!