Richards Bay Coal Terminal: Media Release 08/09/06
06 September 2006
PLANT A TREE - GROW A FUTURE
RBCT Celebrates Arbour Day with Ilembe JS School and Trees for Life
On 8 September, RBCT celebrated Arbour Day with the learners of Ilembe Junior Secondary School. As part of the Trees for Life project, an initiative of the Wildlands Conservation Trust that is supported by RBCT, young entrepreneurs from Ilembe and other local schools are engaged to grow indigenous trees.
More than 270 of these young “tree-preneurs” grow the trees from seeds to saplings, then sell or barter the trees for goods. In this way, the youngsters are supporting South Africa’s natural flora – while at the same time, learning about self-sufficiency and helping to support their families.
Gugu Dlamini, a young learner from Ilembe JS School, is the star tree-preneur of the Trees for Life project. She spoke to her fellow learners and the guests during the Arbour Day programme, and encouraged her fellow learners to join the project.
“I have learned so much from this project,” said Gugu. “I have learned that I can depend on myself, and I have learned to conserve nature. Trees for Life has helped to pay my school fees and buy my school uniform. I am evidence of the positive impact of this project.”
Belinda Moir from RBCT was on-hand to present 40 bicycles to learners from the Dube District and Esikhawini in exchange for the trees they had grown. During the first phase of the project, some 2 500 trees worth more than R13 000 were sold or battered by the tree-preneurs – and in the second phase, these numbers are expected to increase significantly.
The Arbour Day celebration culminated in a tree-planting ceremony.
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