The Sunday Mail
TRISHA Ramabhai, a Grade Seven learner at Bishopslea Primary School in Harare, has an unusual but healthy passion for planting trees.
At a time when children of her age are mostly concentrating on watching movies or playing games, Trisha focuses on greening the environment.
The learner’s objective is to plant as many trees as possible.
The Sunday Mail Society recently caught up with the 12-year-old as she was planting tree seedlings she had donated to the Greenwood Park in Harare.
With the help of her mother, Trisha, who is an ambassador of Forest Lovers, sourced for funds to buy the plants.
Forest Lovers is an organisation that encourages children to plant trees and conserve the environment under the “Every Child a Tree” campaign.
Among the tree species that were planted under the watchful eye of a Forestry Commission conservation extension officer, Mr Douglas Joho, were the jacaranda, schefflera and the Kenyan
For Trisha, who also donated and planted trees at the Harare Gardens last year, the activity is like a calling to her.
“Planting trees helps the environment. From the day I learnt from the internet about the important roles trees play in our lives, I decided to plant as many trees as possible,” Trisha said.
Her favourite tree is the jacaranda, which she said produces beautiful flowers.
She urged both the young and the old to plant trees.
“One way of taking care of the environment is by planting as many trees as possible. Trees are life,” Trisha said.
Trisha’s mother, Mrs Bhakti Ramabhai, urged parents to encourage their children to plant trees.
“When Trisha told me that she wanted to donate trees, I supported her idea. Planting trees helps our environment, our country. I am going to help her plant as many trees as she can,” said Mrs Ramabhai.
Mr Joho said young people are always passionate about planting trees.
“The department that I work for is charged with the well-being of our environment.
“We educate people and demonstrate to them how we should plant trees. When it comes to tree planting, children are
more than willing to learn,” reckons Mr Joho.
Mr Bob Riyete Mavende, the founder and director of Forest Lovers, explained the organisation’s mandate.
“This programme (Every Child a Tree) tries to give every child an opportunity to plant trees.
“Tree planting is one of the solutions to combat climate change. Zimbabwe is one of the countries in the world where there is a very high rate of deforestation,” Mr Mavende said.
Working mainly with schoolchildren, Mr Mavende called on parents to emulate what Trisha is doing and encourage their children to do likewise.
“Kids are eager to learn and always take active roles in tree planting. I encourage parents and guardians to encourage
“If we have 100 kids planting, say 10 trees, this will take us far in terms of tree planting and combating climate change,” he said.
Forest Lovers is targeting to plant more than 1 000 trees during this year’s annual tree planting season.