Deforestation is one of the most significant challenges faced in both Zambia and Zimbabwe. As a way to address this, afforestation and learning about the importance of trees is a crucial part of the CITW Programme. At the beginning of Term 3, each school in the Zambezi region received five indigenous trees to plant on the school property. The CITW team had prearranged with Eco-Mentors for the holes to be dug at each school so that we could be involved in the planting of one tree at each school on our delivery round.
Arriving at each school, we were met by the Eco-Mentors and Eco-Club members who were well-prepared for their tree planting. To ensure that the time was well spent, we included a short lesson on the importance of trees and how to plant them, at each school. Students were receptive and enthusiastic, answering questions and getting involved with shovelling soil and manure to create a bed for the tree. The importance of taking ownership and looking after the trees was emphasised to the students, who were then tasked with finding creative ways of making defences to protect the trees from goats and other animals. The challenge is to find alternative materials, as opposed to sticks and branches, to move away from the idea of killing one tree to save another. Each school was so grateful to receive their five trees. Many of these will be planted along the school boundary or the driveway into the property and as they grow will provide much-need shade for these schools in the future.