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Tree planting day in Bonatla


Trees provide food, shade and oxygen. They prevent soil erosion and are the habitat of countless wild animals. So it was only natural to make this the topic of the environmental education club at Bonatla Primary School in Botswana. But not only in theory! The SAVE team wanted the children to experience with their own hands what it means to plant a tree.

On September 14, Moalusi, Mosetsana and Christinah lead the way to Bonatla Primary School. In their luggage they had nine fruit trees: Mango, Guava, Banana and Lemon.

Before the planting action, there was theory. 103 students of the Enviromental Education Club listened to the explanations about the function of the different parts of the trees and their importance in the ecosystem. Then they learned what trees need to thrive – especially important because in the future, the Enviromental Education Club participants will take care of the trees themselves: Water, nutrient supply, soil conditions – all of these are crucial for a tree to survive for a long time.

In small groups, the children were then asked to assess the condition of the seedlings and draw up a plan for when to water which plant. In the future, each of the nine groups will take care of a fruit tree and be responsible for ensuring that it thrives.

The tree planting event takes place as part of the SAVE Education for Conservation program. E4C aims to introduce children to the topic of environmental education at an early age, to teach them how their actions affect the environment and what they can do in concrete terms to sustainably preserve habitats for humans and animals.

Then it was time for digging: With sweat on their foreheads and earth-clogged hands, the children dug deep holes in the hard soil, placed “their” little tree in the planting hole, carefully covered it with soil and diligently watered. They did it! Everyone was beaming with pride.

The SAVE team will now visit the school once a week to check on the trees.

If the children take good care of the trees – which everyone promised to do – they will receive a gift every three months. It was clear to all the students of the Enviromental Education Club that the better they take care of the seedlings, the more bountiful the harvest will be one day. Mango, guava, banana and lemon: these are the fruits that the children will soon be able to harvest fresh every day at their school.