Congolese Orphans Join the Fight Against Deforestation

On December 5th of every year in the DRC, people come together to celebrate Environmental Awareness Day. It’s a time to recognize the roles that we play as members and stewards of Earth’s natural resources, and the importance of developing a strong connection between people and nature in generations old and new.

Orphaned students of all ages gather around to learn about the economic, environmental, and medicinal benefits that plants serve. Tree saplings from various species, such as guava, avocado, and oil palm, are distributed and planted in six village schoolyard gardens. Students have the option of choosing which tree they preferred to plant in their gardens whilst ensuring it is in harmony with the geology of the soil.

With the guidance and supervision of teachers, ICCN park rangers, and community members, students were able to have a hands-on outdoor biology lesson. With joy and excitement in their eyes, the children and young adults participating in the program began to understand their roles as stewards and caretakers of their local environments. Although deforestation is ravaging through the world’s second largest rainforest in Central Africa, there is hope that, through education and programs like these, future generations will step up and become the next league of forest protectors.