On the 13th September, together with Lucas Mthebu (from the Tumelong Mission Centre) I travelled to three schools which form part of the centre’s social development programme initiatives in Pretoria West: Shalom Primary School, Thulaganyo Secondary School and Tumelong Haven Pre-school (in Shoshanguve, Winterfelt and Maboloka townships, respectively). Though the sun was blazing, we were not deterred because tree planting was the order of the day!
Together with the leaners, we explored the different landscapes and soil types as we were planting the indigenous shade trees such as the Kree, Wild Olive and River Bushwillow. To promote ownership, we’ve also learnt about how to take care of trees at school, within their communities and even at national public parks.
At some point of our planting adventures, we also discovered earth worms underneath the soil, which are typically out of sight in everyday life. The learners were fascinated by learning about the significance of earthworms in keeping the soil fertile as well as recognising that there are other forms of life under the earth that sustain us and therefore need to be preserved.
The remarkable enthusiasm of both toddlers and leaners as we were touching the soil, watering the plants is what stood out for me. Then I realised that there is an Earth Keeper in each and every one of us and this was our heritage! One thing I love about this initiative is that you are never too young or too old to plant trees. The beauty is that if you start today, you will reap results for a lifetime. If you want us to come to your school, I invite you to give me a shout on firstname.lastname@example.org