18 September 2023 |
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has begun its 40th-anniversary celebrations in Africa with a major environmental initiative: planting 40,000 fruit trees across Zimbabwe between August and December. Dubbed the #plantafruittree project, the initiative focuses on “Environmental Safeguarding and Climate Change,” and aims to demonstrate ADRA’s commitment to mitigating climate impact while improving community well-being. ADRA president Michael Kruger emphasized in an ADRA news release the critical role tree planting plays in both environmental health and community wellness, noting that the agency has firsthand experience dealing with the devastating effects of extreme weather, deforestation, and other climate-related catastrophes.
The project was inaugurated in August, in partnership with the Zimbabwe Forestry Commission. Public tree-planting demonstrations have been conducted at various locations, including campsites, schools, farms, and other institutions across Zimbabwe’s ten provinces. The celebrations included a high-profile tree-planting ceremony involving government leaders, ambassadors, USAID representatives, and over 3,000 church volunteers on September 9, 2023, at the Country Club Newlands Zimbabwe golf course in Harare.
Judith Musvosvi, the country director for ADRA Zimbabwe, highlighted the organization’s dedication to environmental sustainability and the need for raising awareness about climate change impacts. Fruit trees were selected for the initiative specifically because they are less likely to be cut down for firewood, thereby ensuring a long-term impact. Musvosvi’s statement underscores the strategic thoughtfulness of the campaign, balancing immediate needs with long-term sustainability.
This initiative is part of a broader global campaign by ADRA, which also includes efforts in the United States. Earlier this year, on April 28, the agency launched the #GoGreenWithADRA campaign in Columbia, Maryland, marking its 40th anniversary with the planting of 40 trees at Atholton Adventist Academy. ADRA is inviting communities, schools, churches, and both public and private organizations around the world to join the movement by planting trees and sharing their experiences online, advocating that each person plant at least two trees to help reduce carbon emissions for the future.
Read the full story at ADRA’s website here.