Jackson Mwanje Welesi is the father of Anzelma, the young girl featured in the award-winning film Carbon For Water, made in May 2011.
Now, Jackson says he and his family are much more aware of the environmental challenges they face.
“Since the film was made, I have realized that collecting firewood, as my children were doing in the forest to make money, leads other people who learn about this to go into the forest, collect the firewood, and that would contribute to the death of the forest.
We try to change from firewood collection to other activities, which would conserve the environment and the forest as a whole. I try to talk to my children about the benefits of the forest and the trees. I tell my children and my wife not to go in the forest anymore.
I myself have attended several workshops and learned about forest conservation. These were sponsored by the Kenya Forest Service, the Kenya Wildlife Service, Nature Kenya, and the agricultural ministry.
From what I learned in the workshops I started a small tree nursery just outside my house. I can plant one species on my farm and it won’t disturb the crops. I raise maize, beans, cassava, potatoes and some vegetables, and I have two cows which I keep at my place.”
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