In 2018, Marc Lubner, then CEO of Afrika Tikkun NPC, began raising the importance of regreening the townships as part of Afrika Tikkun living its value of responsible kindness. “There’s a need for Afrika Tikkun to demonstrate in practical terms, how, through the planting of trees, we can teach moral regeneration and the value of life,” Marc said. “If a child is taught the value of caring for the life of a plant, then the child will treasure and value all lives.”
As a result, in September 2019, Afrika Tikkun’s Wings of Life Centre in Diepsloot, partnered with Plantnation to plant 80 trees at the centre and at the Basa Tutorial School. These trees are mainly indigenous and local fruit trees, making them adaptable to the conditions and requiring less water. This is particularly important given that the centre often experiences water shortages. In June 2020, an assessment was done to determine how many of the trees survived. We are happy to see that 90% of them are alive and growing well.
The aim of this project is to bring more life in the community, remembering that we inhale oxygen from the trees and trees inhale carbon dioxide. Mr David Mokwena, primary caretaker of the trees at Wings of Life Centre, enjoys this task of nurturing the trees and watering them at least three days a week. “I’m happy the trees are growing so well; they look so green and healthy,” David said. “Although losing 5 out of the 80 trees still makes me feel sad.”
We look forward to these trees beautifying our centre for many years to come.