On 24th April 2021, GNRC members in Nairobi, Kenya led by the GNRC Coordinator, who is also the Director Center for Sustainable Conflict Resolution (CSCR), Sh. Ramadhan Aula Juma, conducted a cleanup exercise in Syokimau, Machakos County aimed at addressing Sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate action, one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015. The activity also focused on the implementation of Panama Commitment on Ending Violence Against Children no. 1 on, “Listening to children with empathy and respect, welcoming their wisdom and gifts, and continuing to work side-by-side to address violence against them.”
Part of the objective of the cleanup exercise was to mentor children on the importance of a clean environment. 30 children aged between 5–17 years took part in the event. The Syokimau Area Chief, Ms. Kilonzo, Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer of Zawadi Drive Estate, Mr. Nicholas Malaki, Mr. Willis Okumu and David Sawanda respectively, graced the event.
Sh. Aula, sensitized participants on the issue of violence against children and the importance of treating them with care. “Violence against children has increased manifold especially this time of the Coronavirus pandemic. More importantly it is critical for communities to give opportunities to children to share their ideas and also take part in different initiatives,” he noted. Similarly, Sh. Aula used the opportunity to explain about GNRC’s actions to promote peace and a better world for children. He also introduced the other initiatives of Arigatou International namely: Ethics Education for Children, Prayer and Action for Children and End Child Poverty.
Mr. Malaki urged children to learn about the environment and take initiative in taking care of it, including protecting trees, rivers and animals. He challenged the older generations to leave clean and sustainable environment for future generations. Mr. Okumu on the other hand emphasized the importance of children taking the lead in initiatives such as taking care of the environment.
Over 200 trees were planted during the event to recognize and appreciate the members’ efforts for a green environment. Some of the young champions Yusra Ramadhan, Damaris Oyoo, Wambui Gatune and Irene Karumba suggested each child adopt a tree to ensure that they take care of them so that they don’t die. Ms. Kilonzo, the Area Chief, distributed the trees to the residents on behalf of Equity Bank and Syokimau Residents Association. Children were served with refreshments during the event.
Syokimau Area Chief, Ms. Kilonzo, addressing residents during distribution of seedlings