Standard Chartered Tree Planting Launch at Starehe Girls School - Corporate Event
On February 13th 2013, Sir John Peace, Group Chairman of the Standard Chartered bank, Mr. Iamin Manjang ,Kenya Man Com-CEO, the GBM staff visited Starehe Girls Center’s in Kiambu County .The visit was to strengthen GBM’s partnership with the standard chartered bank and officially launch the tree planting programme at the Wangari Maathai Garden in the school. This is an environmental innovation that seeks to encourage and promote sustainable development through the spirit of environmentalism as championed by the late Prof. Wangari Maathai to the yong generation. In attendance on this special day was the Starehe Girls Management, Student’s in form 1 and 2, Starehe Girls Interns- Beneficiaries of the Standard Chartered Bank.
Opening remarks by Mrs. Margaret Wanjohi, the School Head Teacher gave a brief history about Starehe Girls’ Centre as a National boarding school that offers secondary education to financially disadvantaged girls from all Counties of Kenya. The school was founded in January 2005 as a charitable institution. It caters for all the girls’ academic and social needs.
The inauguration of the Centre took place on 12th February 2005 by the Kenya’s First Lady, Mrs. Lucy Kibaki. Currently, the Centre has 440 girls who represent all Counties of Kenya. They are admitted on the basis of being bright but financially needy.
Ms. Annie Kinuthia, Head of Corporate Affairs with the Standard Charted Group recognizes that education is a key pillar in the girls lives. Through Linda Latsko Lockhart, who founded the Global Give Back Circle (GGBC), a nonprofit that enables high school girls in Kenya to make the leap to higher education. To help further this agenda, the bank decided to support girl education in two areas:
- Secondary Education: Most girls at Starehe Girls Centre are bright but from very poor backgrounds. In response to this need the Bank sponsors the education of five girls through form one to form four.
- The Global Give Back Circle which seeks to ‘complete” the educational process of the world’s disadvantage girls, so they gain employable skills and become contributing members of society. It accomplishes this through a transitioning model that recognizes an impoverished girl needs mentoring empowerment and financial enablement to step-change her accessibility to “Life’s Chances”.
GBM undertook the tree planting session by planting three ceremonial trees during this day. Sir John Peace, in his remarks to the girls, said that” It’s not who you are or what they call you; it’s what you do that counts.” He planted Prunus Africana which is an indigenous, medicinal tree.
The second ceremonial tree was planted by Mr. Iamia Manjang in his remarks he looked at education as a transformation in our lives. He advised the girls to aim higher, work hard, discipline and being honesty. He continued by defining the meaning of Lack as an opportunity and being prepared leads to luck. Mr. Manjang, the School Head Teacher, GBM’s Ag. Executive Director Ms. Aisha Karanja and the environmental students club planted a rear tree species namely Podocarpus Falcatus which is also an indigenous tree.
GBM’s partnership with Standard Chartered Bank and the school intends to raise 20,000 seedlings of different indigenous species and plant them in the school compound at the Wangari Maathai garden. The girls will undergo a rigorous training to enable them have a programmatic experience in regards to tree nursery establishment, management and have a better understanding on the need to conserve the environment.
GBM donated tree nursery tools and materials to the school towards the establishment of the tree nursery. Sir John Peace launched the tree nursery by propagating Juniperus Procera seed in the seed bed which is also known as the Red Cedar tree. His touching tribute to the girls in memory of Professor Wangari Maathai is his passion in planting trees. To date the school has planted 71 trees to mark the years of Professor Wanagri Maathai’s Legacy.