Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/wonder-newsletter/5019703/Our beautiful, but fragile environment by Caroline Hudicourt
Forty schools with a total of 8,000 students have become an oasis in Gros Morne, northwest of Haitiâ€™s Artibonite Valley, as they contribute to the reforestation of the area. They have bought land â€" at least a half acre per school â€" that they cover with trees to later exploit for the benefit of the school. The children participate to the reforestation of the community, build a source of revenue for their school, and shape their identities as responsible citizens. Sometimes children walk as much as 5 to 6 hours back and forth to get trees to reforest their schoolâ€™s property.
The project, that we call â€śfriends of trees,â€ť started in 2000 with a group of children ranging in age from 4 to 15 years. With a mentor, they learn to prepare nurseries, compost, and plant and water the trees. The childrenâ€™s excitement for reforesting led Gaston Jean, who initiated the reforestation endeavor, to involve a network of schools in the activity; the network
now includes 40 schools.
Since 1992, Gaston has been part of a community organization committed to make the Green School Reforestation Project work. He says, â€śThis project helps the children ...