A group of community members stand with a poster of their organization after collecting trash.

Immanuel Landy-Ariel, Kayole Community Tree Nursery

There are hardly any trees in Kayole, Kenya. There are no flowers or shrubs. The air is polluted and there is no shade. In a place where approx. 750,000 people struggle with just basic needs, there is much ignorance towards the environment and maintaining it. Furthermore, the youth face a myriad of challenges, including lack of education, employment opportunities and resources. The young people need a positive direction that offers a sense of belonging, self-worth and skills necessary to showcase their creativity. Immanuel Landy-Ariel of Kayole Mtaa Safi Initiative sees potential in this community and with his team they have created the One Tree At a Time – Kayole Tree Nursery Project.

Kayole Mtaa Safi Initiative’s vision with the One Tree At a Time – Kayole Tree Nursery Project,  is to beautify Kayole by adding greenery while instilling in the local youth the skills to manage their own nursery and maintain the environment of their local neighbourhoods. Immanuel with Kayole Mtaa Safi Initiative will provide hands on techniques in setting up a nursery from scratch along with best practices for propagating, planting and maintaining the flowers, shrubs and trees. The team will be consulting with Total’s Ecochallenge Program, who will address processes and practices in urban tree ecology as well as providing links to the greater horticultural community in Kenya. The Nursery aims to work hand-in-hand with the local community, companies and the County Government in encouraging environmental awareness.

The tree nursery is not only about raising seedlings and planting trees. They hope to not only propagate trees but also provide auxiliary commercial opportunities to the same youth – such as worm farming, composting, bio-char, charcoal, furniture timber, fruit etc. Many of these by-products are in demand in the local neighbourhood and also around Kenya.

In the long-term, the youth will have a broad knowledge about all aspects of trees including seeds, saplings, grafting, pruning, cultivating good soil etc. They will also be able to start their own business and the greater community will have a greater appreciation towards the surrounding environment.

“Our Youth can be a most enlightening and progressive force in our communities, exemplifying good healthy lifestyles in our communities or it can be a most destructive force. The youth of today are our leaders for tomorrow. If we don’t lead them well, how will they lead others? Where will they lead others?”

Check out their Facebook or website to learn more about the project.