Planting Trees- No Little Thing

by Susanne Garrison, 
founder, Wana Duma Children's Project

Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in conservation, ‘sustainable development, democracy and peace’. March 3rd is African Environment Day AND Wangari Maathai Day.

In April of 2015 we had a fantastic ‘Wangari Maathai Tree Planting Day’ at Eco-Village. We packed lunch for 50, rented a bus for our families and teamed up with the Rift Valley Rotary of Nakuru for a fun work day up on the property. On that day we planted 250 endangered tree species that Wangari fought to protect during her lifetime. This started a tradition of honoring Wangari Maathai and her message of conservation by planting trees (and a sustainable future for Wana Duma Children's Project) at Eco-Village.

It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.
— Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai planted trees to celebrate special occasions in her life. Wana Duma families now mark occasions by doing the same thing! Working with the local university, we have planted 500 of Wangari's favorite endangered African cedar trees, as well as, several other indigenous endangered species.

Our land has been seeded with avocado, banana, mango, lemon, and orange trees. Crops raised at Eco are already feeding our needy families. This year's maize crop yielded enough dry corn to feed our families for 6 months! We have planted pumpkins for the protein-rich seeds they produce. The flesh of the pumpkin is wonderful in stews and broad leaves of the plant are stewed or used in mukimo - a mashed potato, corn and greens dish, We look forward to exploring more ways we can utilize the land to support our food and education programs.

Unfortunately, Kenya has been experiencing a rough drought affecting large parts of the country. We have lost our total crop of beans but teams of volunteers have been hand watering the 700 trees and crops at Wana Duma Eco-Village. Even with the loss of food that would've fed our hungry families, we are among the fortunate ones. Many people in the remote northern frontier have lost their total crops and herds of cattle leading to tension over grazing land and depletion of natural resources. The rains have returned (a bit sporadically) to our area this week and we are hopeful that not much more will be lost!

Thank you for supporting Wana Duma Children's Project and helping our efforts in creating a sustainable future for our children.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to help Wana Duma's ongoing eco-projects please click the link below! Thank you! Asante Sana!

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Rebecca Kay