, 15 October, 2019 / 6:02 PM
At a time when the world is facing climate crisis with several environmental challenges including global warming and varying weather patterns, a Nairobi Catholic day School, famous for producing national leaders among them the current President, Uhuru Kenyatta, has resolved to celebrate its 80 years of existence by planting trees.
“To mark the 80th anniversary of the school, we will give each student a seedling to plant at home and they should ensure it grows,” Ms. Jacqueline Kasuku told ACI Africa in an exclusive interview Monday, October 14.
Explaining the source of the seedlings, Ms. Kasuku disclosed that the Kenya government agency mandated to manage and conserve forests donated them.
“Kenya Forest Service, Ngong road sanctuary, gave us four presidential seedlings,” Ms. Kasuku said in reference to the Nairobi-based agency.
On the day of the School’s 80th anniversary held on Friday, October 11, Ms. Kasuku said, “the President (Uhuru) went with Elgon teak seedling,” a symbolic gift given to Kenya’s head of State who is an alumnus of St. Mary’s School, Msongari.
The other three presidential seedlings were taken by “the members of Environment club and students studying Environment system and society,” Ms. Kasuku explained and disclosed the plans underway for these students to plant the three seedlings “at the State House compound in the course of (the) week.”
Speaking about the Catholic School’s practice over the years in conserving the environment, Ms. Kasuku who has taught at the for 15 years said, “It is our tradition that wherever we go to plant trees, we normally plant 80 trees. So, after planting four seedlings at State House, the remaining 76 will be planted in the school compound.”
Besides the seedlings to be at the State House and in the school compound, Ms. Kasuku clarified, each of the over 700 students in the school will receive a seedling to be planted in their respective homes conforming to the presidential directives on massive tree planting made after the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) held in Nairobi March 2019.
Apart from Kenya’s President, the anniversary brought together various stakeholders including the Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi Archdiocese David Kamau.
“The Catholic Church remains a committed partner with your (Kenya president’s) government in ensuring that (the) Kenyan child continues achieving holistic education,” Bishop Kamau said in his address on behalf of the Catholic Church in Kenya.
The Nairobi-based Prelate added, “In this regard the Church is not sparing any effort in ensuring that the new curriculum: Competence Based Curriculum is fully implemented, which I believe will provide holistic growth to our children.”
At the event, Kenya’s Head of State who dressed in St. Mary’s School uniform that is in a white shirt with a navy blue blazer bearing the badge of the school and a striped tie, encouraged learning institutions to engage their former students by forming alumni associations.
He appreciated the Catholic Church especially Holy Ghost Fathers who are the founders of the School for running the school and establishing other learning institutions in the country.
Founded in 1939 in the Parklands area of Nairobi, St. Mary’s School was transferred to its present Muthangari area of Westlands in 1946.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa