In celebration of the ongoing support Food & Trees for Africa received from privately-owned low-cost airline kulula.com, the greening and food Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) planted 20 trees at Emmangweni Primary in Tembisa, Gauteng.
The school’s head teacher, Mr Golden Ramoetlo, said the trees would make a big difference to the comfort levels of learners at the school, not only in providing shade but also in terms of cleaner air: “We’ve had a shortage of oxygen here, with our big numbers of children,” he joked. When Ramoetla joined the school in 2006, there were 700 children enrolled. Increased urbanisation and regional migration has resulted in the school now having 1 781 children enrolled, in classes of up to 60 children at a time. Ramoetla made a plea for corporate donors to assist with the development of new classrooms.
Kulula.com has had a long standing relationship with Food & Trees for Africa, which has seen them achieve some great milestones together, such as a donation of R1 million a few years ago which contributed towards the planting of 521 trees in Boipatong, Gauteng, to offset the effects of climate change. For the last three years, kulula.com has also assisted the NGO with flights for its staff and management to attend meetings with sponsors, facilitate permaculture workshops, and distribute and plant trees and vegetable seedlings in communities across the country.
These initiatives not only off set carbon emissions, but assist in Food & Trees for Africa’s focus on food security and sovereignty. Through these efforts the organisation promotes the rights of people to healthy food produced though ecologically sound and sustainable methods.
“Without kulula’s help, Food & Trees for Africa would spend thousands of Rand on flights. Instead, we are able to use the money that is donated to plant trees and vegetable gardens in some of the poorest areas in South Africa,” says Food & Trees for Africa Executive Director, Chris Wild.
“Our support for Food & Trees for Africa stems from our appreciation of the positive work they do in our communities. Ensuring that we are kinder to the environment is at the centre of our operational philosophy, hence our investment in new and more fuel-efficient aircraft.
Occasions such as tree planting ceremonies also offer an opportunity to make a tangible difference to the environment and we appreciate that,” says kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair Limited) Head of Marketing, Shaun Pozyn.