Meet our new team of gardeners.
Last Monday was tree planting day in Besongabang!
After the official center opening in March, the local team has been applying the final touches to the project.
The center host, United Action for Children (UAC), and Design Fellow Rogerio Costa, organized a tree planting workshop, last Monday, involving the children from the community.
An educational workshop was organized in the brand new building, to discuss the importance of trees –supporting a more healthy and balanced ecology while also providing a sense of emotional well being and comfort. It’s ironic that a small village in the middle of the jungle would benefit from a tree-planting day. However the lessons in ecology and the environment once again prove relevant in both the densest urban centers as they do in the most lush rural ones.
The UAC describes how, in the Manyu Region where the Football for Hope Centre is located, 51% of the population is living below the poverty line. Limited investments in basic infrastructure have led to a pattern of slow economic growth in the area. Environmental stewardship then, is not necessarily high on the priority list. Community members harvest trees for subsistence and, without any regulation in place, this has led to significant levels of deforestation, subsequent environmental degradation and patterns of systemic poverty.
Through workshops like these — part of their larger ‘One-Child-One-Tree project’ — UAC would like to ‘enhance children’s awareness, knowledge, and skills to help them make informed decisions that affect environmental quality. The project is designed promote children as a major resource — instruments of sustainable change. The ultimate goal is that the children will be empowered with the knowledge and motivation to be good environmental stewards and that at least 100 trees will have been planted on the project site‘.
50 trees have already been planted through this first workshop, thanks to the generous support of NBBJ, a US design practice, who has been supporting other tree planting initiatives with Architecture for Humanity.
As a legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup, FIFA and streetfootballworld launched the Football for Hope program, with the aim of building 20 centers across Africa. The centers are managed by local NGOs, each having a specific program. All centers address health and education issues using soccer as a tool for development.