Jesuit Urumuri Centre has initiated a project to promote environmental conservation through improved land utilization to support school feeding for vulnerable children in the archdiocese of Kigali, also dubbed “school feeding program”. The project was thought of as a way to improve ecological awareness and at the same time save poor children from hunger by giving them access to lunch, thanks to revenues made from the school farms management.
The Centre has begun the first phase of the program where it has identified 15 schools that will become stakeholders during the implementation of this project. JUC has also begun rearing seedlings for fruit trees that will be planted at said schools. The rearing of these seedlings is taking place at the premises of Jesuit Urumuri Centre where a plant nursery was elected towards the end of last year.
Moving forward, the Centre will compose a training manual which facilitators will use to train teachers and form environment clubs at the schools. Following this, JUC will provide saplings of tomato tree, avocado, orange, papaya and passion fruit, to each school. Each school will receive 400 fruit trees to grow; this means there will be 6000 fruit trees in total for all 15 schools.
The income that will be generated by the schools from growing these fruit trees will be used to contribute to the school feeding program where almost a 100 vulnerable children in each school will have access to meals.
This program was preceded by the International Laudato Si’ Conference held at JUC premises in October of 2020. The Conference commemorated the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, which a compelling call to care for our common home. The conference gathered Scholars, pastors, civil servants and environmental activists hailing from 8 countries and discussed sustainable and integrated solutions that haunt the earth.
The overall goals for the project include providing educational support to instigate good environmental practices, creating school farms and enrolling children from poor families into the school feeding program.
JUC Communication Officer