On the 20th of November, 2010, over 500 youths under the banner Kenya Youth Climate Network (KYCN) in partnership with the Mully’s Children Family (MCF) had a National Tree planting at Yatta. The organizing committee to the tree planting had to wake up as early as 4:00am to make sure that university students (University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Catholic University, Mount Kenya University) and other youths groups from Matuu Network, Third Movement, Kenya Young Greens, African Youth Initiative on Climate Change, Intervarsity Network, Change Agents Kenya, Koch FM, St. John’s and the World Youth Alliance, were picked and ready to go by seven in the morning! You could see how the organizing committee members were moving up and down to make sure that what they were assigned for was efficiently done. At around 9:30 am, up to three buses were at Tuskys Supermarket at Thika town ready for the move. Although we were behind scheduled, we had all the buses at Mully’s Children Family, Ndalani area at 10:00 am in the morning as opposed to the 9:30 am that we had opted for. We were all perplexed when we found out that we were being expected by a group of five hundred children from the Mully Children’s Family who were to assist us in the tree planting event we later found out. This did not deter us since Kito, ‘our dad’ took the microphone welcoming guys for the wonderful event and instructing the youths present to divide themselves according to the color of their t-shirts that were beautifully and innovatively made, thanks to the think tanks of the organizing committee.
Five groups resulted black, green, white, red and brown after which they were told to sit in specific areas under two tents that were beautifully made for the youths who were very eager to grow the tree. Mukhwana Semwami, a bonafide Third Movement stronghold wasted no time, he went and initiated the singing of the Kenya National Anthem in a rather base diction but it was okay for the day. Later on, Dr. Mully gave us a welcoming speech and gave us a brief history of the Mully Children Family. Thereafter Dickson gave us a compendium of principles that we are supposed to abide by when we are at Mully’s Children Family. With a welcoming address from Dickson Mully, the youths could not wait any more they wanted at least words of encouragement from the convener of the tree planning. That’s when Mr. Maithiya stood up and shook up the crowd with his eloquence and choice of words. The crowd went bananas! ‘Eeeeeeeeeehhhhhhh! Aaaaaaaaahhhhh! Eeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhh’ were what you could hear from the groups as Maithiya called unto them. To commence this event filled with energetic youths hungry for nurturing trees, a prayer was done by one of the Mully’s Children Family and off we went to the field. With the white group instructed to start the digging process and then a rotation to be done, we were set immediately we went for the spades, the jembes here and the buckets for watering. You could see the faces of the youths present; electrifying energy was felt on that day. Ignatius, an AYICC-K member who was there wasted no time, he literally started singing motivational slogans here and there, “Wan wadhii ka yeso…” And immediately the over one thousand group of energetic youths was electrified with nothing to deter them from achieving their main goal: growing 10,000 trees! With the sun scotching hot, no attention was paid to it. I am sure that day the sun must have been unhappy.
You know what they say” all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.” Dj Reakt did not miss the event, he mixed the latest gospel songs that got the group of KYCN and the MCF psyched for some little dancing. Within no time, a big circle was made by the youths in attendance celebrating the actions that they had just done. Crazy dancing styles were exemplified to justify the fact that the youths were happy of the results; growing trees. “We have to go for another 30kms for lunch at Ndalani” Dickson Mully announced this and off we were in the heat and thirst that was slowly dawning to the participants who were very tired. Reaching Ndalani, two cues were made to enhance the efficiency in serving and the organizing committee showed what they were made of. They waited until all the youths in attendance had finished serving that is when they served their meal to have a bite of the delicious meal made by the wife to Dr. Mully. Talk about showing leadership by the organizing committee. Entertainment from the ‘Big five’ or rather twelve acrobats made the youths roar for more. Youths go green saw this was the best opportunity to show what they were made of. They made us laugh with their neatly created jokes that they told us. The MCF neither did not get deterred; they sang lulling songs and also had their acrobats do their thing for the crowd.
After all these, it was time to wrap up the day. George Auko who was the master of ceremony handed the closure of the event to Dr. Mully who thank us for everything that we did. He urged everyone to continue with the same spirit. Dickson Mully then made the much awaited announcement’ “We have managed to plant a number of 3,500 trees and we go away knowing that we have a deficit of 6,500 trees!” Well, better a start than sitting and doing nothing. The members of the organizing committee thus presented a present to Dr. Mully to thank him for allowing the Kenyan youths to have this event at his resident. Truly the zeal of the youths towards conserving the environment was exemplified on that day since a participant; Machocho was all the way from Mombasa just for the event.
“We are happy that we all of you made it to this event and we want to encourage all of you to continue with the same spirit. I hope that all of you are passion about environmental conservation but if you are not, you are not part of us. Kindly I would like to urge all of you to continue spreading the same spirit and even take the initiative of inviting us to your own places of stay.”Dickson Mully, Mully’s Children Family.
Report by Joshua Minai Programmes and Project Coordinator AYICC-Kenya