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Planting Fruit and Indigenous Shade Trees with CHEP

This month, thanks to a generous donation by CHEP, 115 trees of numerous fruit and indigenous shade varieties were planted across two provinces at two beneficiaries. CHEP staff volunteers joined Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) facilitators at St Clements Home-Based Care Centre, in KwaZulu-Natal, and New Horizon Special School, in Polokwane, on 14 and 16 May 2019 respectively. These volunteer tree-planting events were tremendously successful and immense gratitude was expressed to CHEP for their contribution to the local environment and future food security of both beneficiaries.

On 14 May 2019, ten CHEP staff volunteers eagerly got their hands dirty planting thirty fruit trees at St Clements Home-Based Care Centre in Clermont, KwaZulu-Natal. CHEP donated sixty fruit trees of various cultivars — including peach, plum, nectarine, and pear — and fifteen bags of compost. Together with six St Clements staff members, two FTFA facilitators, and five community volunteers, thirty of the donated trees were planted throughout the food garden. The remaining thirty fruit trees were distributed to local residents supported by St Clements, all of whom were overjoyed at receiving fruit trees for their homes.

Then, on 16 May 2019, another ten CHEP staff volunteers joined two FTFA facilitators at New Horizon Special School in Polokwane, Limpopo, to get their hands dirty planting fruit and indigenous shade trees. During this fun-filled planting event, CHEP volunteers, eight New Horizon staff members, and twenty-eight learners teamed up and, using the methods demonstrated by the FTFA facilitators, planted forty of the fifty-five donated trees. The remaining fifteen trees were planted by the school’s groundsmen the following day.  Twenty four of the thirty fruit trees donated — including citrus, mango, plum, nectarine, and peach — were planted in the school’s orchard, greatly expanding the number and variety of fruit trees contributing to the food security of New Horizon. Sixteen of the twenty-five indigenous shade trees provided (including varieties such as Red Ironwood and White Stinkwood) were then planted along the edge of the playground to offer learners plenty of shade for many decades to come.

Since May 2018, CHEP South Africa has been planting trees with FTFA at beneficiaries throughout South Africa. The recent contributions increase their tree-planting impact to 530 trees at twelve beneficiaries in just twelve months. A total of 265 fruit trees and 265 indigenous shade trees, along with 134 bags of compost, have been planted through eleven volunteer events with CHEP South Africa staff. Overall 196 tonnes of CO2 will be offset by these 530 trees in their lifetimes.

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