The African People and Wildlife Fund’s Noloholo Environmental Scholars program started in 2010. Since then, we’ve sent 16 students from the Maasai Steppe to a private secondary school in Monduli. The six-year scholarship allows these motivated boys and girls to have access to many opportunities and experiences that they might not get in their hometowns. We are very proud of our scholars and what they represent for the futures of their communities and the environment.
Hussein Maricha was helping APW’s environmental education staff grade exams for the Noloholo Environmental Summer Camps. He has just finished his first term as a scholar but bravely comes forward for the interview, eager to practice his English.
African People and Wildlife Fund: Hussein, how are you?
Hussein Maricha: I am very well thanks. I have been very happy.
APW: What have you been happy about?
HM: I am happy because I enjoy being home. I get to relax and rest. It is nice to relax after being at school and working hard.
He squints as the sun comes out from behind some clouds. On the balcony at the Noloholo Environmental Center, he glances towards the plains of Tarangire National Park.
APW: What do you like to study in school?
HM: I love all the science subjects, but my favorite subject is biology. I would like to be an animal biologist one day.
APW: What makes you want to be a biologist?
HM: I think animals are very interesting. Last year I went to Tarangire National Park (with APW), and I saw so many animals. It was my first time seeing so many animals. It would be great to study them.
APW: What animal do you want to study?
HM: I am not sure yet, but my favorite animals are lions. I think they are very proud and beautiful.
I imagine Dr. Lichtenfeld has found her protégé in this charismatic, outgoing young man. Although he has only been studying English for a little while, he isn’t shy or quiet. He dives into our conversation with confidence and understanding, unafraid to make mistakes in spite of the unfamiliarity.
APW: How old are you?
HM: I’m 17 years old and I am in Form One.
APW: Do you like your school?
HM: Yes, I love it. There are so many great teachers and beautiful buildings.
Hussein is the youngest of two boys, living with his parents in Loibor Siret. His father is the English and Mathematics teacher at his old school, Loibor Siret Primary School. Although he says he prefers his school in Monduli, he credits his father with teaching him how to be a diligent student.
HM: My father has always been supportive of me, and he has taught me many things about being a good student.
APW: Is your brother also in school?
HM: Yes, he will be going into Form 5. He hopes to become a physician.
APW: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
HM: I like playing football with my friends on my school team. I also like watching football. My favorite team is Chelsea Football Club. My favorite player is Oscar.
APW: How has your experience been as a scholar?
HM: I feel very lucky to be a scholar. My family is very happy for me and supportive, and I feel successful.
We wish Hussein the best of luck as he continues on his journey to become a biologist! We are there to help!
If you would like to help support a Noloholo Environmental Scholar,
you can donate at www.afrpw.org/donate or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.