Tree plantings mark Oikocredit’s 40th anniversary
Last week trees were planted in the Netherlands, Kenya and India to mark Oikocredit’s 40th anniversary, in ceremonies that were attended by Oikocredit employees from around the globe. The tree planting ceremony at Oikocredit International’s office in Amersfoort, the Netherlands was attended by Oikocredit staff and affiliates. The ceremony was led by Oikocredit International managing director, David Woods, programmes manager and environmental specialist, Sonja Ooms, as well as the mayor of Amersfoort, Lucas Bolsius. Other guests included director of Oikocredit Netherlands, Hann Verheijen, representatives from Amersfoort’s local council and members of the local press.
A tremendous achievement
During the planting, David Woods said: “It’s a tremendous achievement to be able to celebrate 40 years of investing in people. Oikocredit’s staff and the wider Oikocredit network can be proud of the work they do and the difference they make in lives across the world. The planting of a beech tree at our head office represents a commitment to long-term sustainability, as this tree can live for hundreds of years.”
Planting trees in Kenya
Oikocredit staff in Nairobi, Kenya planted an East African yellow wood, a tree indigenous to Africa. In addition to the commemorative tree, Oikocredit made an investment from it’s C02 compensation fund of €40,000 (KSh 4.5 million) to be used for the Green Belt Movement’s programme for ‘Greening Urban Schools’ in Kenya. The Green Belt Movement (GBM) will plant and grow 3,000 trees at a primary school in Nairobi this month and a further 12,000 trees will be planted and grown at four different schools in the coming two years.
The GBM was founded in 1977 by the late Wangari Muta Maathai who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. Since its founding, GBM has planted over 51 million trees across Kenya. The organization works at grassroots, national and international levels to promote environmental conservation. Its mission is to build climate resilience and empower communities, particularly women and girls, to foster democratic space and sustainable livelihoods.
Events at different locations across Germany were also held in commemoration of Oikocredit's founding 40 years ago. In India, staff of Oikocredit subsidiary Maanaveeya held a tree planting ceremony of their own, during which a Chinese witch hazel was planted. The tree planting ceremonies marked the actual date (4 November 2015) of Oikocredit’s 40th anniversary and were a culmination of the 40th anniversary celebrations that have taken place throughout the year.