GBM Blog

Happy Birthday Tree

July 21, 2011 - 02:30PM
Published by Kathryn Gelder

When GBM Project Officer Dionisio Ndegwa celebrated his birthday on July 16th, he didn't just receive presents or partake in normal birthday festivities. He helped a tree come to life.

For the past five years, Dionisio has planted a tree each year to commemorate his birthday. This past weekend Dionisio celebrated his with friends and colleagues at the GBM Lang'ata training center by planting a tree during a workshop on advocacy and communications.

Dionisio started his birthday tree celebration in 2007 with primary school children in GBM communities where he works. At each birthday tree celebration, Dionisio explains to the students how seedlings are nurtured and how they can mature into once they are planted. The students and other community members help him plant the tree and dedicate that day as the birthday of the tree.

His goal, says Dionisio, is to instill a sense of environmental stewardship in the students at a young age. He continues his project in an effort to nurture a love of trees in the students and to make tree planting part of Kenyan culture.

His birthday tree project has really caught on in the communities and the positive effects can already be seen. Some children celebrate the tree’s birthday each year and others have even asked their parents for their own trees to plant on their birthdays.