It was a beautiful morning on Tuesday 24th May 2022, as Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green celebrated a decade of Green Climate Action.
The colourful ceremony at Hotel Africana in Uganda’s capital Kampala, attracted delegates from selected schools who participated in a Children’s Climate change conference.
Over 300 child delegates, and their environment clubs patrons represented 50 top primary schools from around the country.
Little Hands Go Green, an NGO founded by Joseph Masembe in 2012 is a civil society organisation whose main mandate is environmental conservation education and activism with special emphasis on the young children .
The Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Anita Among who was represented by the Hon Sarah Opendi commended the spirit, passion and commitment of the Children in their commitment to keep Uganda Green in the midst of a serious global climate crisis we are facing. Hon Opendi, a former state minister for health went ahead to challenge children to start hobbies such as forest bathing, which is good for their health. She said walking in forests barefoot removed toxins from the body and brought about better health.
In his remarks, the Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Water and Environment, Mr Alfred Okot Okidi who also represented the Minister of Environment bore testimony to the humble beginnings of Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green and commended them for the consistent dedication and passion to fruit tree planting, conservation and the uniqueness of working with the young generation.
The PS said the Ministry was going to secure a forest for Little Hands Go Green which children will restore.
Mr Okidi’s commitment was greeted with ululations from school children and green ambassadors.
Mr Mike Ssegawa, the deputy Resident City Commissioner for Jinja City lauded the ministry of environment for the move to entrust children with a forest to restore.
“Children are going to put adults to shame. What PS Okidi has promised the children is a game changer. The children’s commitment and love for their environment is superb. I pray a time comes that every PLE candidate gets a chance to plant a tree in this forest. I look forward to see my children plant their trees in this children’s forest.” Mr Ssegawa, one of the earliest promoters of Little Hands Go Green,said.
All the child delegates including their school Patrons recieved a Macadamia fruit tree seedling and a Green anniversary t shirt with compliments from White Oak Holdings, who have partnered with Little Hands Go Green to among others create Agro- forestry income generating projects for the Schools with land as well as to help promote urban farming for the parents of these children.
When asked why they chose to work with Little Hands Go Green, Caroline Komuhangi the CEO of White Oak Holdings said, “We have followed the Little Hands Go Green movement and seen their consistency and commitment over the years. Their footprint is literally littered in almost every household here in Kampala and its environs. It therfore goes without saying that they would be the best partners to thread through a better understanding of agro-forestry and urban farming for tye various households and schools who have alot of un utilised land.”
One very unique aspect about the 10 year celebration at Hotel Africana was the total absence of plastic bottles or cups at the function.
It was a proof that Little Hands Go Green army indeed practices what they preach.
When asked about this great milestone , masembe had this to say, ” Our Planet today is faced with a crisis of unimaginable proportions. We run the risk of handing to our children a planet to inheritance that is destined to.become un inhabitable unless we grab the bull by the horns and work twice as hard. Our environment is our future and our future is our responsibility. Our humble local actions here in Uganda on the ground will contribute to the Global call to action on Climate. We owe it to our children to give them a planet worth inheriting. The Little hands Go green story of the past decade therefore has been a modest attempt to do that and I am confident that as we start the next decade we will continue with double the passion , zeal and commitment for a greener player for the children and by the children.”
Among sponsors of the event was the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda Rt.Hon .Anita Among, Umeme Ltd, White Oak Holdings, Lato Milk , UNDP , Capital FM , NBS Television and the Ministry of Water & Environment .
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