The global climate emergency is focusing minds in Kenya, where the government has ambitious plans to increase forest cover in schools and villages. Tree planting has many environmental benefits – preserving water, preventing soil erosion and helping to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. Through Ace Africa’s projects, we have also seen how tree planting has immediate benefits for children in school by improving and brightening their learning environment.
Ace Africa has recently completed a three-year project in partnership with CHASE Africa to plant over 6,000 eucalyptus trees in 25 primary schools in Western Kenya. Together with CHASE’s partner Watershed Ecosystem Conservation, Ace trained 50 teachers and 1,250 children to plant and tend to the trees. An impressive 90% are still growing well. In 10 years’, time they can be harvested to raise additional income for the schools.
In the meantime, 3,750+ children are learning practical skills in environmental conservation, using the trees for shade and enjoying a greener environment for lessons and break time. (Outdoor lessons have been especially important during the past year of Covid infections.) The tree plots have enabled participating schools to host exchange events with 16 neighbouring schools in Kakamega and Bungoma Counties, and children and their families have been inspired to plant 800 additional trees in gardens in their homes.
With the very generous support of The Dulverton Trust, the project has also educated 500 children in 10 schools on agriculture and nutrition and supported them to set up kitchen gardens growing organic vegetables. Many children have also grown vegetable plots with their families as a result, boosting their nutrition both at school and at home. Through these different aspects, the project will have benefits for children for many years to come.
Our thanks to all the partners involved CHASE Africa, Watershed Ecosystem Conservation and Dandelion Africa – for your knowledge, collaboration and commitment.