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In Pursuit of Sustainable Development: The Power of a United Community

To achieve sustainable development, unity is paramount. In my five months of volunteer service, I have witnessed the transformative power of a unified community. I have utilized community meetings to bring community members together as a platform for collective problem-solving, where community members come up with ideas. The beautiful thing about collective problem-solving is that the community feels ownership of their ideas or suggested solutions. For instance, when we were discussing environmental conservation under the CorpsAfrica Green initiative, community members suggested various innovative ideas such as tree planting, producing fire briquettes as an alternative to firewood, and even proposing the need for loans and fertilizers to combat poverty-driven deforestation.

Despite the community suggesting different activities, we agreed to implement a tree-planting activity. With funding secured from the Rotary Club, a development partner of CorpsAfrica, we procured 500 M’bawa tree seedlings to be planted in the community. I was initially skeptical about the time it would take to complete the tree planting exercise due to the labor-intensive tasks involved, however, I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming turnout and enthusiasm of the community especially in Kayetsela village. The community’s dedication to environmental restoration was evident as the tree-planting exercise was completed within two hours. I was able to hear community members saying, ”Our trees will be used for the development of our area”, that’s the sentence of ownership. Truly I agree with Helen Keller who said “Alone we can do little but together we can do much.”

It didn’t stop there when the primary school knew that I was also involved in planting trees. They invited me to plant trees with the students. The school purchased the trees and I facilitated tree planting activity together with the Headteacher. The students were enthusiastic about planting their trees and learning to care for them, fostering a sense of responsibility for environmental conservation and nurturing the future leader’s commitment to restoring community forests.”

Now, beyond the activity, the community’s momentum continues. Individuals are actively planting tree seedlings around their homes and fields. Each village established a tree nursery bed and distributed trees to village members to plant. This collective endeavor underscores our shared goal of restoring natural resources and advancing sustainable development goals. In the words of A.E Karpovich, “United, we will achieve lasting change and unprecedented prosperity.” Through our unified efforts, we can strive to achieve sustainable goals.

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