Bringing Communities Together With Tree Planting

Nicola Sansom
Wednesday, 14th May 2014

A fruit tree planting project in Uganda is bringing together street children and local schools, teaching about the importance of trees and environmental education.

Trees for Integration is a fruit tree planting and environmental education programme that has been running in Jinja, Eastern Uganda since 2012. The programme brings children who were living on the streets and local school children together to plant and learn about trees. 

The programme has a multitude of benefits; it improves children’s diets and increases fruit consumption, it promotes learning about the importance of trees and their role in the wider environment, and empowers children to take environmental action. It also tackles negative stereotypes of street children in the community, by enabling children who were living on the streets to contribute to the local community and learn and play alongside other children in a positive way.

In the last two years, over 3,000 fruit trees have been planted in 30 different schools across Jinja. 

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Children at SDA primary school planting orange and mango trees

A Fruitful Partnership 

The project is possible thanks to a partnership between Trees for Cities and S.A.L.V.E. International.

Trees for Cities (www.treesforcities.org) is an independent charity, which inspires people to plant and love trees in cities worldwide. Established in 1993, Trees for Cities aims to create social cohesion and beautify cities through tree planting, community-led design and education initiatives in urban areas that need it most.

S.A.L.V.E. International (www.salveinternational.org) is a UK/ Ugandan charity that builds trust and provides opportunities for children on the streets of Uganda to have brighter futures. S.A.L.V.E. works to rehabilitate children from the streets back into loving family homes. Community education is at the heart of their work; tackling discrimination and the root causes of children being on the streets.

Below is a short video showing Trees for Integration in progress.

What’s next?

Over the next two years the plan is to expand the programme into the wider community; to benefit more schools, street children and community groups. Eventually S.A.L.V.E. wants to establish a tree nursery on their new five acre plot of land in Uganda.

S.A.L.V.E. is also planning to build a model permaculture zoned garden based on a design by Gordon Katuramu and complex of eco-buildings based on a design brief by Howard Miller. This will turn their five acre plot into an inspirational hub of learning and growing in the wider community.

Please get in touch with Nicola Sansom at S.A.L.V.E. International if you would like any more information about either of these projects: nicola[at]salveinternational.org 

Further resources 

Tree for Cities www.treesforcities.org 

S.A.L.V.E www.salveinternational.org

Permaculture ethics and practice in sub-saharan Africa

Watch: The man who planted trees

A Sanctuary of Trees

The man who stopped the desert and a review of the film: The Man Who Stopped the Desert 

Greening the desert using permaculture

Community projects across the globe: Sustainable Revolution

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