They are a vital habitat for wildlife. They provide shelter, stabilise the soil to prevent erosion while beautifying our environment. It is also well known that they assist in climate change mitigation by sequestering carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere.
Yes, trees are invaluable to humans for many reasons. What is less understood is how certain varieties of fruit trees can help bring an end to hunger.
Food &Trees for Africa (FTFA) is a social enterprise addressing sustainable development through climate change action, food security and greening. They are also one of the beneficiaries of MySchool, MyVillage and MyPlanet; South Africa’s biggest fundraising programmes.
MySchool gives back more than R3 million every month to over 9000 schools, charities, environmental and animal welfare organisations. The funds collected during 2012 through MyPlanet card holders who chose FTFA as a beneficiary, will plant 105 trees at five different schools during March 2013.
The first greening and water awareness event took at the Mogale Primary School in Mamelodi East, Pretoria. The school’s 34 educators teach 1198 students, of whom 189 are orphaned and vulnerable children.
Although the school’s feeding scheme serves two meals a day they are in need of additional support; considering being located in an informal settlement with high unemployment. Thirty fruit trees will be planted to provide much needed additional healthy nutrition.
The ‘Trees for All’ programme which forms part of FTFA, identified five schools to receive trees that were purchased with the funds raised through the MyPlanet programme.
“Thanks to the card holders who chose us as a beneficiary we will not only create a healthier environment for the learners, settling the dust and beautifying the schools, but also inspire more awareness of the environment and resources such as water” says Katja Janicke, Trees for All Manager.
In the Western Cape trees will be planted at Vukukhanye Primary School in Gugulethu. In Gauteng at Thutopele High School (Katlehong) and at Jokwana Primary School (Port St. Johns) and Ikwezi Technical School in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.
‘Trees for All’ has distributed over 3.4 million trees to thousands of schools and communities across South Africa thereby greening, educating and offsetting carbon emissions and greatly enhancing environments and lifestyles.
“Through their invaluable work, the ‘Trees for All’ programme will provide learners at these five schools with a greener school ground and seasonally fresh fruit. We’re proud to be associated with their commitment to improving the living environments of our communities” says Helene Brand, Marketing Manager MySchool, MyVillage and MyPlanet.
The MySchool, MyVillage and MyPlanet programme provides an opportunity for everyone who shops at kalahari.com, Toys R Us, Engen Quickshops, Waltons and Woolworths to make a real difference, effortlessly.
This is by simply swiping the card an initiative like the FTFA can receive meaningful support. The 105 trees purchased from the 2012 contributions will offset 39 tons of carbon, mitigating climate change and instill hope for a greener future.
Written by: Musa Ndlangamandla – Transform SA Ad Sales/Editorial Executive.
Musa is a senior journalist from Swaziland and until January 2012 he was Chief Editor of The Swazi Observer Group of Newspapers. He is a former advisor and speech writer to King Mswati III. Musa studied Law and holds a number of certificates from leading schools of Journalism. He has travelled to over 35 countries on assignment. He also writes as a freelancer for various leading publications.