NGO plants trees, mentors Salima students


A Nonprofit organization has planted trees at Lifidzi Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Salima as a long term solution to cases of wind and rains blowing off roofs of classrooms.

ESI members and students planting trees

The organization, Education Support Initiative (ESI), together with the district’s forestry department on Friday planted over 200 trees on boundaries of the school.

The activity according to Team Leader for ESI, Samuel Malasa Banda, was been carried out at a time his team was also delivering a mentorship session to the students on academics as one of the organization’s programs.

“We are working in coordination with the ministry of education and as we went on with our activities, the education office raised a concern that roofs of most schools in the district are being blown off due to lack of proper wind brakes and so we had to partner with the forestry department.

“There are many cross-cutting issues that we look at and these are just a few of what we focus on as ESI and we have also done this activity as we prepare to join other local organizations in commemorating Good Deeds Day for this year,” said Malasa Banda.

The mentorship session was the tenth out of twenty in Salima district that ESI intends to provide to students in secondary schools in the district.

Banda further indicated that the first phase of mentorship sessions done by ESI with its team from various local universities has shown tremendous results among students since they are now able to understand how they can easily excel in their academics.

“The response we have gotten from students, parents, teachers and fellow organizations on mentorship sessions we are providing has been overwhelming and we are hopeful that the second phase will roll out soon,” added Malasa Banda.

Speaking after the tree planting, District Forestry Officer for Salima, Adam Jason, expressed hope that the students have understood messages given to them on conserving the environment and excelling academically.

“My expectation after demonstrating how to plant and take care of trees at Lifidzi CDSS is that the students will apply the knowledge and on our part we will work with the school and the surrounding community to make sure that these planted trees survive and grow,” indicated Jason.

Umali Amani Juma, a form 2 student at the school expressed gratitude with the mentorship session he attended saying it was an eye opener.

Juma said: “As a student, I have learnt how to choose careers and goals that suit me as well as the importance of trees mostly on how we can protect them. We will strive to protect the trees planted here.”

The mentorship session at Lifidzi CDSS which brought together a total of 150 students means ESI has now managed to reach out to 2,332 students in 10 secondary schools.

Founded in 2017, Education Support Initiative also finds sponsors for deprived students in community day secondary schools and boarding schools in the lakeshore district.

Story by John Namalenga Junior