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Project information

My 20 Trees and Me: Growing Up Together

We support Kenyan primary schools to teach children how to plant and care for trees in their school grounds, engaging young people in protecting their environment and learning about the benefits of trees. My 20 Trees and Me is part of our wider 20 Million Trees for Kenya’s Forests campaign.

March 2019 - December 2022

Charity information: International Tree Foundation

International Tree Foundation logo
  • Need

    Need

    Over half of Kenya’s population are under the age of 18. Kenya is famous for its wildlife and iconic landscapes, but with only 7% forest cover, it is one of the least forested countries in Africa.
    Kenya’s forests are key to providing fresh water, regulating the climate and as a source of materials.. However, under current pressures, its ability to support the population and act as a wildlife habitat is at risk. Young people will face the greatest impact from forest loss and land degradation.

    Solution

    We will engage the next generation in tree planting through the ‘My 20 Trees and Me: Growing Up Together’ programme. Children plant trees on their school grounds, and care for the trees until they leave school. We teach children to appreciate trees and understand their importance. The knowledge gained empowers young people to teach their families, propagating a shift in attitudes towards sustainable forest use.
    This work with schools is part of our 20 Million Trees for Kenya’s Forests campaign.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Engage 200 schools to plant 40,000 trees with children by 2022


    Activities

    » Reach out to schools through local partners, establishing relationships and assessing each school’s individual site and circumstances.
    » Facilitate planting days by providing seedlings and help from local community groups.
    » Monitor the progress of the children and their trees.

    What success will look like

    Trees will be monitored by teachers, local staff and children to ensure high survival rates. The children and their trees will be photographed as they grow together.


    Aim 2

    Promote sustainable use of forest resources through education and learning.


    Activities

    » Teach children about tree planting, useful tree species and care for seedlings.
    » Teach children about the importance of trees in Kenya within the forest and on farmland.

    What success will look like

    Children’s awareness of the importance of tree planting will be improved after taking part in the project. This will be verified through case studies with children and teachers.


  • Impact

    Impact

    Enhancing school environments – trees shelter teachers and students from sun and wind, stabilise soils on steep slopes and provide renewable resources. Annual photographs and reports will show the trees’ growth.
    Learning - participating children will be given a good understanding and an enthusiasm for the benefits of a range of tree species.
    Changing attitudes – the project will help propagate a shift in perspective among smallholder farmers towards tree planting and sustainable agriculture.

    Risk

    The major risk is neglect of the trees while they are growing, particularly during school holidays. Thanks to high commitment from schools, survival and growth rate of trees has been very good so far. We will continue to monitor the planted sites to ensure maintenance.
    Another risk is poor commitment from schools in the long-term. We will provide regular site visits and reviews with schools to ensure buy-in. So far, schools have been excited to join the project.

    Reporting

    Donors will receive annual reports on My 20 Trees and Me with updates on the trees planted, case studies from participating schools including photographs and progress from previous years. They will also receive quarterly updates on the overall 20 Million Trees campaign.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,900 Seedlings Young tree seedlings purchased from community nurseries
      £1,900 Transport of seedlings Taking seedlings from nurseries to school sites
      £4,800 Staff time Staff time for trainers, foresters, and M&E officers
      £2,350 Transport for M&E Travel for staff monitoring project sites
      £1,550 Material support to nurseries Providing tree nurseries with capital items e.g. tools
      £1,800 Partner costs External partner costs e.g. office rent, utilities, and communications
      £2,700 Management cost Management including building capacity of our local partners
  • Background

    Location

    Kenya is one of the least forested countries in Africa with only 7% forest cover. Five ‘Water Tower’ Forests – Mount Kenya, Aberdares, Mau Complex, Elgon and Cherangani - play a vital role as the sources of all the rivers in this water-scarce country. Yet most are severely degraded. The farming landscapes around the forests are highly productive and home to most of Kenya’s 48 million people. Yet many households rely on small farms with 40% of the population below the poverty line.

    Beneficiaries

    The direct beneficiaries are school children who will learn about the planting, care and importance of trees. Schools will receive the support to enhance their grounds through tree planting, creating green spaces which offer shade and shelter and produce useful materials. At the wider scale, as young people embrace tree planting for agroforestry (tree planting on farms) and reforestation, rural households will benefit from increased farm productivity and easier access to vital resources.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Our model of social forestry is based on harnessing the motivation and local knowledge of community groups who are already active in forest conservation. We give them the resources and support to realise their ambitions. We have the passion, expertise and inter-organisational relationships which will allow us to achieve our objective.
    The programme has already started on a small scale in Embu County, Mt Kenya, with much success. We will build on this model to broaden the reach of the project.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Julian Wanja - Mount Kenya Environmental Conservation

    Project Manager for the Mount Kenya Forest Landscape restoration project, Julian enjoys working in the community and works on reporting and finance.

    Esther Wawira - Mount Kenya Environmental Conservation

    A famous local tree planter. She gained all her knowledge of trees from her mother. She is now the expert that everyone asks for advice.

    Humphrey Munene - Mount Kenya Trust

    An experienced community worker who gets great results building the understanding and commitment of local communities of the value of planting trees.

    Charlene Wandera - Mount Kenya Trust

    A bright and capable conservationist who will be able to inspire the school children and teachers.