50 fruit trees were planted in an environmental campaign called “Plant Tree Not Plastics” organised by the World Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) and included school children and teachers of Groupe Scholaire Kacyiru II. The event, which took place on Friday, was in line with the recognition of the International End Poverty Day which was celebrated this year under the theme “Economic Recovery: Toward a Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Future”. The event went together with a read out aloud literacy campaign where the World Bank donated educational books and involved the participants to read them for children. The planted trees included 20 avocadoes, 10 lemons, 10 citrons and 10 mandarins. During the event, Rolande Pryce, the World Bank Country Director for Rwanda, said that the initiative aimed to heighten the awareness of the environment among young children, adding that the planted trees will help in protecting the environment and enriching healthy nutrition to the community. She declared that the World Bank cares about the environment in Rwanda because the country has very big hills that are vulnerable to soil erosion and strong rainfall, adding that one of the ways to prevent it is to ensure that trees with deep roots are planted to maintain the soil. She said that the books donated are by Rwandan authors and that the initiative was about heightening awareness about literacy as well as sending the message to parents to read for their children so that they can feel and nurture their imagination and be put in a good situation where they are able to learn English and Kinyarwanda better. The World Bank has supported MINEDUC to build new classrooms at different schools across the country, including Groupe Scolaire Kacyiru II. According to Rolande, education is very critical for human capital development because when people have good education, they will have good jobs and will be able to earn more and get themselves out of poverty. Annonciata Mukamurenzi, SPI Coordinator at MINEDUC said that the classrooms that were built in partnership with the World Bank have provided a favourable learning environment for children and shortened the distance they used to get to school. She revealed that they supported the fruit trees planting initiative because it is important for the education of children in sensitizing them about protecting the environment and the effects of not doing so. Jolie Radegonde Mukase, Director of GS Kacyiru II, said that the school has nurtured the culture of planting trees since 2006 when it started and hence is motivated to plant more in collaboration with different partners and the members of the school’s environment club. She declared that the planted trees help students get fresh air and live in a conducive environment which helps them in learning and taking care of the environment as well as recognising their importance. Arsene King Seminyana, a student in Primary six who is also a member of the school’s environment club, said that planting trees is good for everyone because it provides oxygen, adding that fruits planted will help students take healthy diets. He declared that destroying a tree is like destroying a person who will need oxygen to breathe, adding that his role is to protect the trees as well as to irrigate them so that they can grow in a good shape.