Planting seeds of peace and hope

UNICEF works with change-makers to create a safe and healthy environment for children.

Un homme tenant un arbuste devant lui
22 April 2021

"The town and surrounding area are regularly hit by natural disasters," explains Denis Kaluba, an environmental expert in Beni, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In addition to suffering the devastating effects of the waves of violence destabilising the region, locals also have to deal with the impact of climate change and its negative effect on the environment.

With support from UNICEF, Denis has set up two nurseries in Beni that have produced 100,000 seedlings. "We planted fruit and shade trees at schools, health-care facilities, and other locations," Denis explains proudly. When launching the project to plant trees as a way of protecting the environment, Denis realised that most people in the community only saw trees as a source of firewood. 

Des écoliers tenant des petits arbustes

To help change mentalities and encourage people to plant trees on private land, Denis raised awareness amongst community leaders who then raised awareness amongst residents in their own neighbourhoods. By providing seedlings that could be planted all over the city, the UNICEF-backed project aims to provide children with a safe and healthy environment. 

Denis firmly believes that planting trees is crucial to the future development of his country. "Forests are the lungs of humanity," says Denis. The oxygen produced by the trees eliminates pollution, reduces the temperature, and adds humidity to the air. Trees also help retain soil and slow down water flow.

UNICEF also works with young people to help amplify their voice on climate change issues. Children and young peole can also play a crucial role in fighting climate-related risks by promoting sustainable ways of living that protect the environment, and by setting an example in their communities.

Young people must be involved in taking care of the world for future generations