qNEWSLETTER “PLANT A TREE” Letter from Director, I am extremely happy to use this medium to report about activities concerning our tree nursery and planting project which you supported at different levels. The seeds of this project were sowed by me and Miss Luise Meyer. We decided to create a network of youths who would be involved in Environmental issues. To do this we had to come up with activities and small action projects for the kids. However this is not always evident as youths don’t have a voice in issues concerning their futures, talk less of the environment but we had to start from somewhere. We were happy to receive funding from the Futurist which helped us build a nursery and Nurse 750 seeds and seedlings from different tree species. Initially most of these seeds did well. We took the seed species from all over Cameroon. However the dry season was long and harsh and we had trouble with our water supply, as the stream we took water from to water the trees dried off. We started to dig up a well by the Nursery but the water level in this area is actually very low and we could not get water after two attempts at this. We resorted to using SNEC water which is fairly expensive. We are currently looking at other solutions. Due to this situation some of the seedlings dried up as they could not have enough water. Despite these challenges I am extremely happy to say the pilot year for the project has been very successful we have learned a lot and are looking forward to another year. The rains have come again and we are currently planting the seedlings in schools around Limbe with great enthusiasm. This project is called “Plant a Tree Campaign”. Through this project we are using tree planting to instill a sense of environmental awareness amongst youths of school going age in Limbe. The project has been received well by the schools and we consider this as a form of green activism through tree planting. ‘lets plant a tree’ THE EXPERIENCE: ‘Plant a Tree’ has been an extraordinary experience for us. We have been able to see the joy of kids who want to do something for the environment. The students were extremely happy to participate in this initiative. The project is youth-led and youth-implemented. The planning was coordinated by Awani Mireille of AFREDECC and some members of the Limbe Green Youth Movement Ketcha Njobet, Forti Adolf, Mbamjo Nelson, Dara Marion etc. All dates and arrangements were made by this team. They sent out letters and made contacts with designated schools. From then on they arranged project dates in the various schools. This was facilitated by the fact that the dates arranged for were actually the last weeks of the school term and the students had time to participate in this project. Participation was high, some students participated out of curiosity others understood pretty well the importance of what they were doing. Kids having fun while planting trees ‘lets plant a tree’ GHS BONADIKOMBO MILE 4 LIMBE: Government High School Bonadikombo, is a new Public Secondary School. The school has just three forms at the moment and approximately 200 students. The school has been allocated land formerly owned by the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC). This land was formerly filled with Oil Palms so when the school took over the land they had to rehabilitate the land. The “Plant A Tree Campaign” provided them with an opportunity not just to rehabilitate their school also for students to learn valuable environmental lessons through tree planting sessions. Vast available land We took 25 Luceana seedlings to GSS Bonadikombo. This trees are very good for Agro-forestry and the take a fairly short time to grow. This trees would help the school to carry out vegetable farming and other small agricultural practices due to the benefits of Luceana as a agro forestry plant. So this trees would have multiple benefits to this school and to the environment. Youths planting tree in GHS limbe. ‘lets plant a tree’ Government High School Limbe: Government High School Limbe was a little different from Government Secondary School Bonadikombo because the Government High School is an old school. It is one of the first schools in town and a local Legend. However we met the Vice Principal who is a botanist an extremely interested in tree planting so she facilitated everything. She made it possible that everything was easiliy organized for us and they had a project to farm an Orchard so she requested we come along with some fruit trees. We went to GHS limbe with thirty seedlings mainly Luceana and a couple of fruit trees species. The trees were planted and we had a chat with some students and the Vice Principal who expressed interest in more seedlings if they were available. We accepted to work together in future. LGYM Volunteers Assisting In Tree Planting ‘lets plant a tree’ NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOL Limbe. N.C.H.S Limbe can be considered as a partner college. The land were the Nursery is on belongs to NCHS so we were always going to carry out the project in this land. The project went on smoothly and we planted 10 seedlings in this school. Project Coordinator explaining trees to kids ‘lets plant a tree’ THE FUTURE: After planting 65 seedlings in three schools and receiving much love while doing so ‘lets plant a tree’ has a bright future. Schools are now on a break now so the project would also take a three week recess. When schools would reopen we would plant more seedlings in over 6 schools in limbe for the first phase of the project. The next phase would take a while longer as we would expect the seeds we are saping now to reach the level when they can be transplanted. So the next phase of the project would be a youth service learning project during the holidays. Students Planting Trees SUSTAINABILITY: Sustainability of projects like this has always been a problem. In considering the schools and were we planted the trees we ensure that these factors applied. 1. That the school showed a genuine desire to have the trees. 2. That the school agreed to take care of the trees 3. That the trees planted could provide other functions that would relate to the schools. This would ensure that the school takes care of the project and ensure that the trees last and the real benefits could last longer. We would also pay periodic visits to these schools to supervise the trees. PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED. We encountered very few problems while executing this project. The biggest problem we have encountered has been with water a problem that has cost some money without a solution. As previously mentioned the stream were we fetch water from dries of during the dry season and the wells we dug could give us water. Right now we are using water from SNEC and the periodic rainfalls are helping to ensure that the cost is reduced however we hope to sought this out before the dry season comes around again. We are seeking advice for best solutions.
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