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HomeInternationalKENYAWorking Together Towards a Greener Planet: A YFL Tree-Planting Expedition in Segera

Working Together Towards a Greener Planet: A YFL Tree-Planting Expedition in Segera


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International Girl Child Day, African Girl and Education

Girl Day is celebrated every year on October 11 as an opportunity to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by girls around the world, especially in Africa, and the importance of providing them with quality education. In this article, we explore the Day's importance in the context of education in Africa, the challenges faced by girls, and initiatives aimed at improving their access to education. Education is a human right and the basis of personal and social development. However, African girls often face many barriers that prevent them from accessing education. These issues may be cultural, economic or political, but they all contribute to gender inequality in education. Girls' Day provides an opportunity to address these issues and work for gender equality in education.One of the most important problems faced by girls in Africa is early marriage and pregnancy. Cultural norms in many African societies dictate that girls should marry at a young age, often forcing them to drop out of school. Additionally, the lack of comprehensive sex education can lead to unintended pregnancies, further hindering their educational progress. Initiatives that raise awareness about the importance of delaying marriage and pregnancy until after completing their education are crucial.Another major obstacle is poverty. Many families in Africa struggle to meet basic needs, and education can be costly due to expenses like uniforms, books, and transportation. Girls are often the first to be withdrawn from school when a family faces financial constraints. To address this issue, scholarships, school donation programs, and affordable school supplies can help reduce the financial burden on families and support girls' education.Additionally, especially in rural areas, the distance to school will prevent girls from going to school. Unsafe travel and long distances can put them at risk. Building more schools and providing transportation closer to communities could help solve this problem. In many African countries, boys are expected to be encouraged in education and girls are expected to work within the family. It is important to change these attitudes and promote the value of girls' education. Social awareness programs and inclusive education programs that challenge stereotypes can play a key role.Child labor is another problem affecting girls. Many girls have to work to support their families, leaving little time for education. Government policies and international organizations can work to eliminate child labor and ensure girls have the opportunity to go to school.Unfortunately, conflicts and conflict in many parts of Africa have disrupted education and made it difficult for girls to access education. Efforts to build peace and improve education in post-conflict regions are critical to providing girls with a stable and safe learning environment.One of the best ways to improve educational opportunities for girls in Africa is to support and train female teachers. Many female teachers can act as role models and make it easier for girls to stay in school by creating an inclusive environment.Investing in girls' education in Africa has many long-term benefits. It can break the cycle of poverty, improve women's health, and promote gender equality. Girls who receive an education are more likely to make informed decisions about their health, family, and career. They are also more likely to become financially independent and contribute to their communities and economies. Several organizations, both local and international, are actively working to improve the education of girls in Africa. Plan International, UNICEF, and the Malala Fund are just a few examples. They provide resources, advocacy, and support to ensure that girls have equal access to quality education.In conclusion, Girl Child Day serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by girls in Africa when it comes to education. The challenges they face are many and include cultural barriers, financial constraints, and gender stereotypes. But through a combination of advocacy, policy change, and organizational efforts, progress can be made to ensure that girls receive a quality education just like boys. Investing in girls' education is not only a human rights issue but also a key driver of economic growth in Africa. This is something worth celebrating and encouraging on Girls' Day and every day.

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The picturesque landscapes of Segera, Laikipia county, have become a familiar sight for the Youth Future Lab (YFL) team. Composed of Willy Kamau, Frederick Kioko, and Alice Kamau, this group of enthusiastic conservationists had previously visited the region for a different tree planting initiative. However, they returned to Segera with renewed vigour and a new mission – to plant trees as part of the government’s ambitious tree-planting efforts. What they found was a breathtaking oasis that never ceased to inspire them, and an opportunity to contribute to a sustainable future for the planet.

After setting off from Nairobi before dawn on Thursday, April 6th, 2023, the team made swift progress on the journey north. As they passed through the bustling towns of Karatina and Nyeri, they marvelled at the energy and vitality of the people they saw. Soon enough, they had crossed the equator and were closing in on Nanyuki, where they had arranged to meet a lawyer and surveyor who could help them with the tricky task of demarcating plots in the sprawling savannah of Segera.

As they arrived at their destination, they were struck by the same beauty that had inspired them on their first trip. Segera had not lost its magic, and the team was grateful to return to such a stunning  place, a vast area that made them feel insignificant due to its sheer size. From afar, they could see the great Mount Kenya and Aberdare ranges and other hills around the region. 

Our team was well-equipped with knowledge of the types of trees that would thrive in the Segera region. Among the species selected were Grevillea robusta, African Olive, fever tree, cedar, podocarpus, and others, carefully chosen to ensure the success of our tree-planting efforts.The team worked closely with the locals on Thursday, and to their delight, they were able to cover four plots of land instead of the initially planned three. In total, they planted 150 trees and 500 aloe vera plants.

The team’s work was briefly halted by the arrival of majestic elephants that frequented the area at night, a pleasant surprise.Witnessing the locals’ deep reverence for these gentle giants and commitment to peaceful coexistence with wildlife left the team inspired and with a newfound sense of respect for all living creatures.

The team spent the night in Nanyuki town, where they had a well-deserved rest before returning to finish their task. On Friday, they were joined by friends of YFL from Nairobi and Nakuru, who were eager to assist in planting trees and sharing mbuzi choma and drinks with the community.Together, they worked tirelessly, planting 50 trees and 300 aloe vera plants.

It was a pleasant surprise to the team when they were blessed with a deluge of rain, which Kenyans believe is a sign of God’s blessings. The rain poured before they could complete the day’s task, but the team got creative and provided shelter for everyone while ensuring that the fire was not extinguished by the rain and strong winds.Despite the challenging conditions, they were able to complete planting on the designated plots, and the locals were thrilled to see their efforts.

On Saturday, the team continued their work, planting an additional 300 trees to cover all borders, including the large 7-acre boundaries, with sufficient trees and aloe vera. On Sunday, the team spent the day shielding all the trees they had planted from the harsh weather and added more aloe vera to the areas. 

In conclusion, the team had an incredible experience planting trees and engaging with the community in Segera. Despite the challenging weather conditions, they were able to complete their task and plant a total of 650 trees and 300 aloe vera plants.

The locals taught the team a valuable lesson in unity and collaboration, reminding them of the importance of coming together to achieve a common goal. As the community saying goes, “Kuja pamoja ni mwanzo, kukuwa pamoja ni maendeleo; kufanya kazi pamoja ni mafanikio.” This saying embodies the spirit of teamwork and recognizes that by working together, we can achieve great things. The team left Segera with a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to continue working towards a better future for all.


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