Uganda has lost nearly a third of its forest in the last two decades and could lose most of its tree cover in about 40 years unless measures are quickly taken to reverse the situation, environmentalists have said. Beacon of Hope Uganda believes that it is time to stop talking and start planting trees if Ugandans are to guarantee a greener, healthier nation for the next generation.
Beacon of Hope Uganda wants to teach kids and youth about sustainability, alternative energy, and respect for the earth because if it can engage them in active participation today, these people will be better prepared for the choices they will make in the future. We pitch camps in different schools around the country and give the seedlings and potted fruit tree plants to plant in their schools. We also ceremoniously plant a tree in every school to kick EcoHands Clubs in each school.
ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATION PROJECTS
KIDS GO GREEN PROJECT
It may be the grown-ups who make the decisions, but it’s the kids who will one day inherit the planet! So why aren’t kids becoming more involved in the world green movement? Basically, kids don’t possess the purchasing power or lifestyle choices that allow most adults to define themselves as environmentally friendly. However, teaching kids about sustainability, alternative energy and respect for the earth is of vital importance, because it can engage them in active participation today, and better prepare them for the choices they will make in the future.
We need to collectively STOP talking and START planting trees if we are to guarantee a greener healthier Uganda for our kids. As adults, we have silently destroyed our environment and are depriving our kids of the kind of GREEN environment that we grew up in. As children reach kindergarten and early primary age, they continue to become increasingly more aware of the wider world beyond home, school and their neighborhood. Kids want to go green, too. They hear adults talking about caring for the planet, and they want to do their part.
This is where Beacon of Hope Uganda came up with this project “Kids Go Green project” in 2013 and we have involved parents, teachers and youth leaders to step in and get kids started on an earth-friendly path. Our goal is to create an eco-friendly living environment for the little children and we are slowly achieving it. We instill some eco-friendly habits in the children so that they can contribute more to the greening of their world and beyond.
There are many activities that we have used to help instill this idea early while allowing our children to be directly involved in going green campaign. We offer hands-on projects activities with the help of teachers and parents. Through this campaign alone, we have planted over 500,000 trees and our goal is to plant 1,000,000 trees by 2020. We have raised 6 tree nurseries and we have donated over 300,000 trees to schools, youth groups, women clubs and local council authorities.
We are taking charge of the restoration of Uganda’s natural water cycle by planting trees in every school. With our Kids Go Green project, we can guarantee success where other efforts have failed. Our objective is to kick start a nation-wide frenzy of tree planting in all schools of Uganda using the drive and ambition of our kids and to use our kids to inspire and motivate in us a self-consciousness for a greener and healthier Uganda by taking charge of greening up the environment we live and work in.
GO GREEN FAMILIES
We will inspire families across the operation districts to plant a family tree in their homesteads. The buck will not stop with the kids. We will inspire the kids to motivate their parents to plant a special tree for their family irrespective of what kind of tree it is. The kids will make it their mission to champion a green culture in their families by ensuring that their trees grow as they grow. The effort and the eventual footprint of the different family trees will go along way in restoring Uganda’s natural water cycle.
We encourage our Greenstars to keep track of their trees by taking photos and we reward the members with Green certificates. We even give ecohands members scrap books to encourage them to document the growth process of their trees. We will ensure that every school plants a tree to kick start and signify its commitment to the Going Green campaign and with the ecohands clubs, the tree footprint that we will create from this will be hugely significant
Recycle Competition: Many schools already have trash cans but do not have recycling barrels; we are going to start by buying and distributing recycling barrels, which will be stationed next to trash cans and start a competition to see which school can save the most newspapers, soda cans, water bottles or any other recyclable item.
Compost heap: If the school isn’t willing to start composting, we shall create a mini compost pile outside in the school garden or compound to get rid of some of the garbage, we shall make sure it’s cleared with the administration.
Start a garden: We shall use the compost to fertilize the school gardens. We shall grow vegetables or flowers, and let the students sample what they grow.