Assets Second camp

The assets second camp was on from 28th of August and ended yesterday 30th August.It was a three day camp with alot of activities just like the first camp.The students who are first year beneficiaries got to learn about the environment and conservation.A total of 20 students and a teacher and a parent were in this camp. The first day the students were taken to the Mwamba nature trail where they learnt more about tree species and the general biodiversity of the mwanba little forest.

Thereafter there was an introduction part and this second camp was lucky to have two Assets university graduates who gave alot of encouragement to the students.

Later that day there was a talk on education and discipline by one of the Assets committee members(Mr Julius Mwawiswa).Mr Mwawiswa talked and quoted verses from the bible to give emphasis on his talk.Again the students were lucky to get a talk fromMr Rafael Magambo, the National director of A Rocha Kenya.Mr Rafael gave them sound advice on being morally upright and conservation.














It was time for games and two groups were formed,SIMBA(lion) and NYATI(buffalo).The first game was filling an empty bottle with water using hands from one member to the last.This was by giving water using the hands, then to the other member the same way until the last member who takes the water in the botlle. Nyati emerged the winners.It was then football where we had a great encounter and simba won 1-0.

In the evening the students watched a movie (finding nemo) before they went to bed.

Day two of the camp saw the students going for snorkelling after the morning glory and a powerpoint presentation from Benjo.Snorkelling  was a great experience for the students whose majority had not been in water.Mr Robert Sluka and Benjamin cowburn who are the marine biologists at mwamba led the students on this wonderful part of marine life.Students were able to see corals and different types of fish.

After snorkelling Mr Stanley gave a powerpoint presentation on drugs and HIV Aids.We later went to the Watamu turtle watch(WTW) where the students learnt alot  about turtles. We later went to games.After a tough match which ended on a 1-1 draw we went to penalties.Nine penalties were taken from both sides and Simba won 2-1.In the evening we had a session of bible study and a session of quiz in which simba won, before they went to bed

After a bird ringing session led by the director of conservation and reserch,A Rocha Kenya, Mr Collin Jackson, the last day was full of movements.The students were taken to the two eco-facilities where the bursaries come from.Mida creek was the first place they visited and were happy to learn the various species of mangroove.They were very amazed by the different species and their long biological names .They went on to climb the boardwalk. Few of them were very afraid of its shaky nature but got encouraged by their fellow students.

The second movement was visiting the Gede ruins tree platform. Here the students had a lot of fun on the platform after a tour of the ruins.

The students returned to mwamba for lunch.After lunch we had a recap of the camp and a short final quiz. The points were calculated and Simba became the overal winnere with 23.5 points and Nyati had 23 points.Prizes were awarded to the winning group.The losing group also got consolation prizes.The teacher and the parent who attended the camp were also awarded prizes. The camp ended with a prayer from one of the students and then they were shown a slideshow of all the photos taken during their stay.At 3:20 the students left mwamba.

Feedback from ASSETS Camp Participants

As you have seen on previous posts, we were privileged to host 18 ASSETS students last weekend for ASSETS Camp. At the end of the weekend, the students were asked to write down any feedback/comments they had about the camp and all that they got to experience. Here are some excerpts from their notes:“all the trips helped me to learn a lot of things which I didn’t know before” “At first I was afraid of swimming but because of the life jackets I found it easy to swim.” “Although I was afraid of snakes before I was impressed by the visit to the Bio-Ken Snake Farm from where I learned that there are some snakes that are not poisonous” “I would also like to thank this organization and how they help the children from poverty-stricken families” “In Mida Creek I got to know some of the different types of mangroves and what they do for the ecosystem.” “I appreciate the warm welcome you gave us, the meals and accommodation” “I have learned very important things, that actually if I am to tell one by one I may end up taking the whole day” “I wish the camp could take about two weeks so that I could continue enjoying myself” “I enjoyed all the lessons that you had for us” “Let the cooks be blessed and GOD KEEP THEM FOR A LONG TIME!” (There were many happy comments about the food, obviously meals were a highlight!) The students seem to have really enjoyed all the out trips, learning sessions, meals and games that they got to play while they stayed here at Mwamba Field Study Center, which makes it all very worthwhile for all the staff and volunteers who participated.

swimming A big thank you goes to Stanley, Festus, and Bimbo, who put in a lot of time preparing. They are hard at work now preparing for our second ASSETS Camp, which takes place from August 27-29. Keep us in your prayers as we hope to provide a wonderful experience for this group coming in!

ASSETS Camp: Day 2

Hello everyone! We've been having a great time here at Mwamba with the group of 18 ASSETS beneficiaries who are camping here. Yesterday was a full day, including snorkelling, some speakers, and a visit to Bio-Ken Snake farm! Today, the group is visiting Gede Ruins and Mida Creek (where two of the ASSETS revenue-generating projects are located), and since the camera with most of yesterday's pictures on it went with them, we'll just share about the snake farm.


(The best way to travel on a hot day!)

For a bit of background, most Kenyans are deathly afraid of snakes. There are a lot of myths that all snakes are poisonous, and will kill you almost instantly with just one bite. This is not actually true... as the folks at Bio-Ken try to teach, only 34 of the 127 species of snakes found in Kenya are venomous, and many venomous snakes do not deliver venom with every bite. They try to spread awareness and offer a free snake removal service to try to encourage locals not to kill snakes on sight, as they are valuable contributors to their ecosystems. This is not information that ASSETS beneficiaries would usually receive, so the A Rocha staff thought a visit to the snake farm would be a great opportunity. Students were given the opportunity to handle non-venomous snakes, and get a chance to appreciate how beautiful some of the species are... especially when they are behind a glass wall!


At least one person in the group, Naomi (the current A Rocha Environmental Education Intern) was brave enough to hold one of the snakes!


In addition to all of the fun activities, there are many speaker sessions built into the ASSETS camp program. The students receive teaching on the importance of education, responsibility towards community, creation care, healthy lifestyle choices, and a Bible study as a part of their ASSETS Camp experience. They have a chance to discuss these topics openly with the speakers, in a way that they don't really get a chance to during their formal schooling.

We are looking forward to telling you more about the rest of this camp!

Appeal regarding forth-coming Summer Camps

Environmental Education Officer, A Rocha Kenya June and July are supposed to the coldest months at the coast of Kenya, equivalent to winter in temperate zones. Indeed it is quite cold at the moment, about 24° Celsius. I guess we are experiencing our share of the effects of climate change to which we have though in small ways contributed to. Climate change is one of the topics to be discussed by the ASSETS beneficiaries during the upcoming camps. On the 3rd and 4th of August 20 local children will be gathering at Mwamba Field Study Centre to participate in environmental education activities. Among the activities planned is a snorkeling trip to the Watamu Marine National Park, Bioken Snake Farm and Kipepeo butterfly project.

A similar event will hopefully be organised later in August if funding for the same is acquired. We have so far received a donation to cover the cost of the first camp. The cost per student is estimated to Ksh. 4000.00 (£29.00).

By sponsoring a student to the camp, you are giving them a life-time opportunity to interact with, explore and learn ways of  utilising the environment without destroying it.