Kenyan mother says ‘thank you’ with trees
Dama Sulubu, a subsistence farmer, and her husband, a fisherman, live on the edge of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. Recently, Dama donated 1,000 tree seedlings to A Rocha Kenya, as a gift of gratitude. ‘Without you,’ she said, ‘my children would not be where they are now. I felt I should give back to the community’. Her son, Benjamin, is studying Accounting at University of Nairobi and her younger son, John, has been accepted to study Aquatic Resources Conservation and Development at Maseno University.
What’s A Rocha got to do with it? Both boys received ASSETS eco-bursaries: part of our strategy to protect dry coastal forest of global conservation importance. Without help to pay secondary school fees, many parents like Dama would log trees in an attempt to keep their brightest children at school. The eco-bursary scheme involves parents and children in learning about the importance of local forests, both for their own well-being and global biodiversity. Now, the fringing communities are increasingly involved in protecting the forests for future generations. We teach families how to cultivate tree nurseries for a sustainable source of timber, and for income – but this is the first time that a parent has so generously given back seedlings. Dama chose two native species valued for their hardwood: some have been transplanted at ASSETS schools and others in degraded parts of Dakatcha Woodland Important Bird Area. Read more about ASSETS