CHANGE THE STORY’ CAMPAIGN CONTINUES AT NOVA PIONEER SCHOOL
The Green Belt Movement in partnership with the NCBA Bank Kenya and Junior Achievement Kenya (JA Kenya)visited the Nova Pioneer school to continue the Change the Story Campaign that aims to plant 30 million trees in the next five years. The campaign which is in its third year hopes that by the end of the campaign, there will be additional 30,000 hectares of forest cover in critical watersheds within the five key water towers by the year 2030.
Speaking at the event, the Program Manager for Climate Change at the Green Belt Movement, Mr. Paul Thiong’o, thanked all the partners for the success of the ‘Change the Story’ campaign that has seen degraded forest sites being restored to biodiversity rich forests. He called for meaning full engagement of youth in addressing current challenges. Speaking to the girls of Nova Pioneer School, he encouraged the girls to use their voice to fight climate change since they make part of the 1.2 billion youth population worldwide. Using Wangari Maathai’s story of the humming bird, he called on the students to do the best they can in the call for climate action.
“There are 1.2 billion young people in the world. And these young people are the ones that can help us fight climate change which is one of the biggest crises we face today. He noted that trees are very important in mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide from air and providing much needed oxygen especially during this Covid 19 pandemic. He requested the students to go beyond celebrating birthdays with a cake by dedicating time to plant a tree to commemorate their birthdays.
Speaking on behalf of the NCBA Bank, Mr John Guchu told the girls that their time in the school should be a memorable one and the tree planting exercise was one of the ways they can be remembered.
“As the future alumni of the Nova Girls School, you have the opportunity to leave a mark in your school. This is not just a tree planting exercise,” he said. He also noted that by planting the trees in the school, we are changing the story.
Mr James Mahondo of JA Kenya challenged the girls to reflect on whether they are planting or growing a tree. He said “I want you to think clearly about what we are doing here today. Are we planting or growing a tree? Take a look at your life and see how your parents have cared for you since you came into the world until you have grown into the beautiful people I see here.” He added that the planted trees will be nurtured to ensure that they survive to maturity to realize their benefits.
The event provided a learning platform for the students and was culminated by planting 100 indigenous, fruits and ornamental trees around the grounds of the Nova Pioneer Girls School.