Greening Day in Dakar Engages High Schoolers in Tree Planting
Trees for the Future (TREES) is participating in a series of tree planting activities with two high schools in Dakar, Senegal as part of its GREENING DAY project. This initiative – in collaboration with the Goethe Institute, Dakar – took place over two days and was surveyed in two stages. The two schools, the Modern High School of Rufisque (Lycée Moderne de Rufisque) and the high school Galandou Diouf (Lycée Galandou Diouf), were chosen for their lack of vegetation and their proximity to high-pollution areas. With both these factors in mind, it was important for TREES to contribute to the development of a healthier environment for children.
TREES staff focused first on educating students on the benefits of tree planting. Students watched two videos; one focused on the importance of tree planting in Senegal by TREES, the other video, Mélanie Laurent’s film “Tomorrow” traces the course and success of urban agriculture initiatives around the world. The TREES team talked with the students to help them fully understand the impact of unsustainable agriculture in not only Senegal but all of Africa.
At The Modern High School in Rufisque TREES piloted the tree planting process hand-in-hand with the students. Thirty shade trees, mainly cordias and gmelinas, were planted in the schoolyard. The plants were chosen according to the desire of the school authorities as they are popular species that can provide excellent shade from the hot sun. The school’s principals, teachers, and students all played a part in planting the trees with the support of TREES. The school’s 2,100 students will now be able to benefit from a more natural environment which, the headmaster says will be conducive to academic success.
Galandou Diouf High School of 1,500 students in the capital city is exposed to a serious lack of vegetation. With more space to plant than the previous school, school authorities and TREES technicians were able to plant fruit trees in addition to the cordias and gmelinas. The students planted five soursop plants, a local fruit variety that makes for a tasty snack!
These Greening Day planting activities mark a major first step in greening urban areas of Senegal for children and future generations. Beyond agriculture and its impacts, TREES is now launching community awareness initiatives on the importance of tree planting among the most vulnerable segments of society. By planting trees with students, TREES encourages them to take responsibility for their environment while cultivating a passion for nature and agriculture.