Baraka self-help group members with tree seedlings.

A healthy environment is central to quality human life in any part of the world – we owe it to future generations to leave behind a safe, healthy, and habitable planet. One of the objectives the holistic child development program seeks to achieve is to equip the program participants with how to safeguard a healthy and stable environment where every individual has an opportunity to thrive.

Since 2020, PEFA Kurutiyange in Migori has been on a journey to conserve its environment through afforestation. Through this effort, the center has planted 30,000 trees, mostly in homes and some churches and schools in the community. To date, 200 families have each planted between 30 to 150 trees.

The project is situated in a region with high yearly rainfall. Unfortunately, human activities such as gold mining, grazing, and clearing natural vegetation for agriculture have negatively impacted the environment, making it vulnerable. To counteract these effects, we have embarked on a tree-planting project to promote environmental resilience, restoration and secure a better future for the people in the area.

Joyce is one of the program participants whose family embraced tree planting for both conservation and commercial purposes. She has planted 150 trees through the initiative. Today the household has a woodlot with a total of 450 trees which includes the caregiver’s own effort.

Our project has collaborated with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute for the past three years to select the most suitable tree seedlings for our environment. Our caregivers have received Gravellia Robusta and Eucalyptus Grandis, which have proven to work well in the area.

According to Laureen Jepchumba, the project director in Migori, the PEFA Kurutiyange C&Y Development Centre prioritizes the protection and sustainability of the environment through tree planting. This initiative aims to manage water, reduce, and intercept stormwater, and enhance runoff water quality. Additionally, planting trees provides shade and aesthetics; the goal is to have a small “forest” in every participant’s home.

Just like in Genesis 2:15, “The Lord took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it,” we recognize that all created things belong to God and that we are accountable to Him as stewards of the creation.

Blessing with his father in their small forest of 200 trees.

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