In a few years from now Mountview High School pupils can look forward to sitting in the shade of the beautiful luscious oak trees around their soccer field.
Pupils and staff planted 100 oak trees around the field and school on Thursday April 25, which was donated by the Madina Institute’s Centre for Non-violence and Peace Studies and Trees South Africa. They also initiated an irrigation system for the field and a clean-up operation at the school and provided lunch on the day.
Volunteer at the Madina Institute’s Centre for Non-violence and Peace Studies, Haroon Hamid, said the pupils would be taught the importance of recycling as they will take part in the clean-up around the school.
The trees will also be adopted by the pupils as a social project – they will have to water it and look after it and this will carry over to future generations.
Leader of the institute, Dr Fatima Hendricks, said that with the vast amount of violence taking place in the area, the children need to learn in a sustainable and creative environment. “We want to bring awareness to the kids about the harm done to the earth and they can take the message home with them as well,” she said.
The institute also painted a mural on the school wall depicting two hands and heart with a quote from Sheikh Dr Muhammad Bin Yahya Al-Ninowy, “Heart is the beginning of knowledge”.
Ms Hendricks explained that the idea behind the mural is to educate the pupils but also give them wisdom to use their knowledge appropriately and help them to develop spiritually and personally.
Grade 10 pupil, Davren Albertus, said that he looks forward to sitting under the trees in the shade during intervals. “When people come to our school now they will see beautiful trees, the view will be much better and our field will be much better to play soccer on. The clean-up operation will help to teach our pupils to stop littering,” he said.
Keanan Slinger, in Grade 11, said the programme is fantastic. “This will make our school look beautiful and people will want to come here because at the moment no one is really interested, so the trees will be a new attraction,” he said.
Susan Rossouw-Moss, office sales and marketing manager from Trees South Africa, said the nursery’s aim is to give back to underprivileged communities. “We always try to donate trees to schools and other organisations in underprivileged areas. We try to bring social upliftment to these areas, we like giving back because it is important. At the moment it’s quite bare and there’s no shade for the children on the field. It just changes the environment for pupils, staff, and the entire community including the moms and dads and changes the way the children feel,” she said.