Helping Zimbabwe 2014 tree planting campaign:

With more trees being cut down than planted, what will be left for tomorrow? Yes we are encouraged to plant a tree and save the environment but how can we guarantee a sustainable tree planting project, one that is done out of necessity and passion? It is true that changing our behaviour and thinking proactively is not easy but in order to cultivate such values I believe we need to answer these questions first:

1. Why planting trees? How will this benefit our everyday lives and the future?

2. How can I turn tree planting from just a once off event each year to a daily routine that I am passionate about and value each time?

3. How can we make tree planting projects a sustainable venture that not only provides shade and conserves the soil but also provides free food for the society?

Helping Zimbabwe analysed these questions which affect our willingness to be a tree planting ambassador. We found that an individual wants to be involved in something they see a direct benefit from. Since the future has always depended on the younger generation, the best route to take would be educating and encouraging today’s child of the importance of such an initiative. To better make the project beneficial, the conclusion to a long discussion was simple, let us plant indigenous fruit trees and teach a child to adopt a tree while having a feel of the fruit their ancestors grew up eating.

It is often said that as you go into the future, do not forget the past and as such our culture and background shape how successful we will become tomorrow. Due to rural to urban migration, we see over 60 % of children growing up not knowing where they came from. Even worse, some do not know how to behave in an honourable manner, something their cultural values could have solved. Some look at the “Mutamba” (the monkey orange indigenous fruit) and have no idea that it is food. Instead, it is seen a plant thrown at others in an act of bullying.

We say this has to change and we must start introducing our offspring to the beauty and values of our culture as this endeavour will help provide a brighter future. We must start with encouraging each child to adopt an indigenous fruit tree, nurture it and see it bear fruit that

benefits the entire society. Not only would we have ensured a sense of responsibility but also a good heart that cares for the community the child resides in.

We welcome you to the 2014 tree planting campaign where we say, encourage the young to adopt an indigenous fruit tree and help save a life tomorrow. It begins with us, taking a stand and preserving our culture. Do not ask, “What can Zimbabwe can do for me?” Rather ask, “What can l do for Zimbabwe?”

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Post published in: Environment
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