Absa Bank Kenya has today announced an ambitious plan to plant 10,000 fruit trees in schools across Kenya this year.
As part of the initiative, the bank announced that for every birdie scored at the 2022 Kenya Magical Open, which will be held at the Muthaiga Golf Club from March 3rd to March 6th, it will plant and grow additional fruit trees in several of these schools.
The idea behind the Birdies for Good initiative, which is taking place for the second time now, is that for every birdie (a golf score of one stroke less than par on a hole) scored at the Magical Kenya Open, Absa will donate Ksh1,200 to plant and grow additional fruit trees in Kenyan schools this year over and above the 10,000 trees commitment. Absa hopes to raise at least Ksh 6 million through this initiative.
Speaking at Cheleta Primary school in Runda during the announcement, Absa Bank’s Head of Sustainability Jane Waiyaki reiterated the bank’s commitment to positively impacting communities through the Birdies for Good initiative.
Overall, the bank had committed to plant 10 million trees in the next five years, citing that planting and growing fruit trees can help improve our tree cover while also assisting Kenya in improving its national nutrition, particularly among school-aged children. She noted that with fruits available in the school compound, they can easily supplement their school feeding program at a lower cost.
“As Absa, we are a deliberate force for good, with a heart that beats for the communities in which we operate. We want to make a difference in people’s lives beyond the tournament, and the Birdies for Good initiative exemplifies this commitment a result, we challenge the golfers to bring their best game to the tournament and be a part of impacting our community through their scores,” Ms. Waiyaki said.
Also present during the rollout was Kenya Forest Service Head of Sustainability Mr. Francis Kariuki appreciated Cheleta Primary Schools for opening its doors for Absa bank so that they can donate the fruit trees that would supplement feeding program in the school in future.
“Protecting and conserving our environment is a shared responsibility; and we are proud to be working with Absa to drive this initiative in schools across the country. By planting trees, we are assured of a secured future, lives and livelihoods of our children and their children.”Kariuki said.
The head teacher of Cheleta primary school Madam Catherine Weru also challenged the learners and members of 4Kclub to develop the virtue of patience to see the fruit trees develop to maturity
“One other things we must develop is not to temper with our tree before fruition, and also being conscious of our environment, so we must have time for our environment so they we can benefit fully from what were are doing today,” Weru stated
The Birdies for Good initiative, launched during the 2021 Magical Kenya Open, raised KES 8 million for long-term community development projects. A women’s bead-making enterprise, tree planting, and the distribution of sanitary pads to schoolgirls in Laikipia, Isiolo, and Samburu counties were among those who benefited.
“As a bank, we are also aware of our responsibility to assist all of our stakeholders in becoming more environmentally conscious and in implementing appropriate solutions to reduce their environmental impact.” As a result, the Birdies for Good contributions will benefit environmental conservation,” Ms Waiyaki added.
By Rodgers Oduor