Following the recent training of onsite facilitators for the environment conservation project, Jesuit Urumuri Centre has begun the process of transplanting fruit seedlings to 14 partner schools’ farms. The centre is planting the trees as a response to His Holiness the Pope’s call to ‘care for our common home’ in his encyclical Laudato Si’. It is also a response to one of the four apostolic preferences of the Society of Jesus which calls for the order to accompany young people for the creation of a hope-filled future.
Beginning last week, JUC team and members of environment clubs have planted a total of 677 fruits trees at 4 secondary schools. Speaking to beneficiaries of the project at each of the schools, JUC assistant director Mr. Pierre Nyandwi, SJ, spoke about the importance of planting trees and commemorating the tree-planting day, quoting the minister of environment Hon. Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya “The minister named the tree as a source of food, medicine, clean water and shelter. The government of Rwanda therefore, similar to other governments, has called for all to recognize the importance of planting trees. JUC has combined this desire for environmental conservation with that of feeding school children a fully balanced meal”.
When the trees begin producing fruits, some will be consumed at the schools while others will be sold for cash revenue which will help in paying balance for vulnerable children to have them enrolled for midday meals at school.
Following the tree planting exercises, some of the collaborators at JUC’s partner schools had this to say:
“Trees provide oxygen which is vital for our well being. They also contribute to us getting rain and they slow down strong winds that threaten to destroy our buildings; be it schools or homes. Planting fruit trees is even better as the children’s diets will improve. We are truly grateful to Jesuit Urumuri Centre for this initiative” ~ Mr. Olivier Uzagirimana
“Environment conservation is very important because availability of trees means we receive rain and therefore are able to plant and harvest produce” ~ Clarisse Ujeneza
“We are grateful to JUC for this project as not only are we going to benefit from it but generations and generations that will come after us will benefit from it too”~ Julien Nshizirungu
JUC will plant trees at 10 more schools. The number of fruit trees allocated to schools depends on the availability and size of school farm.
JUC Communication Officer