Shakila and Her Forest

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“I am Shakila Saidi a former pupil of Kwembago primary school. Playing at school was my favorite, though mostly I played with tree saplings in our small tree nursery. I can recall several interesting moments however tree planting trainings in classroom and practical sessions to me were the best. In the classroom I remember to have been taught what global warming and climate change are and how do they affect our ordinary life. We also had platforms to discuss several ideas for mitigation and adaptation. For more practice when the saplings were at the best size our supporter the Friends of Usambara connected us to our village to expose what we deduced from the lessons to our parents. I remember to have done my best especially when the village government asked us to help to reforest a badly eroded land which used to be a communal forest. This communal forest was one of our village treasures since children of my age used to play and graze lambs in. After two years of serious degradation none of us enjoyed playing in heavy dusty place anymore and instead our village football pitch became overcrowded then no one enjoyed as we used to.”

“It is almost three years now since we planted at this place, seeing the growing trees reminds me that the past will soon return and hopeful I can see same birds, chameleons and squirrels we used to play with those days. I am really proud of my work and I still figure out how to help more people of my place with trees which I can personally raise with the skills I have.

I send my gratitude thanks to our trainers from Friends of Usambara and the Forest Nation, I hope they will some days visit us to witness these greater changes.”

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