News Release

Trees for Food Launches at Event in Kajiado North District, Kenya

Trees for Food premiers in launch event in Kajiado North District, Kenya, on 2 November 2023. First 37,000 of 200,000 fruit tree seedlings are distributed and planted

Trees for Food, a humanitarian initiative sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was launched on 2 November 2023 in the town of Ngong in Kajiado County, Kenya. This is the 3rd round of Trees for Food. In the first two rounds, 400,000 fruit tree seedlings were planted in Kenya. Over the next few weeks, 200,000 orange, banana, mango and avocado trees will be planted throughout six counties in Kenya.

The Church implemented Trees for Food in response to President William Ruto’s program called “Jaza Miti” ("Fill the land with trees"), with a challenge for residents and organizations in Kenya to plant 15 billion trees by 2032. 

Trees for Food launched in Kajiado County with the distribution and planting of 37,000 fruit trees.  Subsequent plantings will take place in Makueni County, Uasin-Gishu County, Homa Bay County, Tharaka Nithi County and Garissa County.

Trees for Food involves national, county and community leadership who have been key partners with the Church in identifying distribution points and recipients of the fruit seedlings. Leaders, administrators, and volunteers will also participate in monitoring the care and nurture of the trees and in evaluating the program’s success. In commenting about the Church’s generosity, one local leader said, “The best way to say thank you is to take care of the trees. These trees are for the community.”

The seedlings were purchased by the Church from Vine Green Farm.

Vine Green’s owner, Irene Kanini, was at the Kajiado County event with 37,000 trees. She shared that the soil in Kenya is fertile, soft and conducive to these trees, with care, thriving.

The trees should begin yielding fruit in 18 months to two years from planting.

The fruit trees project serves multiple purposes and has multiple benefits:

  1. Allow individuals and families to have food.
  2. Will help to build self-reliance, which is defined as the ability, commitment, and efforts to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family.
  3. Will contribute to protecting the environment, fight climate change, and restore biodiversity.
  4. Help the rising generation be accountable and responsible, and allow them to participate so they can learn that taking care of a tree is a way to prepare for a better future as they learn to love, respect, nurture and protect the environment in which they live.

The launch event was held on the property of the ACK Church in Ngong. More than 100 participants planted hundreds of trees in pre-dug holes. From the tree planting, which was garnished by a timely rain, the event participants moved underneath large tents for a program commemorating the great project. Asauna Mujiera was the Master of Ceremonies.

The Commissioner of Kajiado County, Jude Wesonga, spoke. He expressed gratitude for the vision of President Ruto, the support of national and local government organizations, and for the generosity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Thierry Mutombo, First Counselor in the Africa Central Area of the Church, then spoke. He testified that Jesus Christ, under the direction of Our Heavenly Father, formed and organized the earth.

“We now live in this beautiful world. Think of the sun, which gives us light. Think of the rain, which makes plants grow and makes the world clean and fresh," he said. "When we consider all of these creations, we begin to understand what wise, powerful, and loving beings Jesus Christ and Our Heavenly Father are. They have shown great love for us by providing for all of our needs."

He quoted Church President Russell M. Nelson, who responded to the question, as beneficiaries of the divine creation, what shall we do?

“We should care for the earth, be wise stewards over it, and preserve it for future generations. And we are to love and care for one another.”

Trees for Food fulfills each element of President Nelson’s exhortation. Elder Mutombo quoted an old proverb that says, “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

He then said, “Today we are sowers, and one day, someone will be blessed and will rejoice in harvesting from the fruit trees that we plant. Not just someone, but many. You write it down and remember it, for it will surely come to pass.”

Milcent Mogana of the Office of the Secretary National Administration spoke last.

"To bring such a project of such magnitude to effect takes the effort of many people. Thanks to our sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thanks to the national government. Very special recognition to the parents who are here. Teach your children.”

And then, turning to Elder Mutombo, Mogana reiterated her appreciation to the Church. She then implored the Church to continue its Trees for Food program as an investment for the good of many Kenyans.

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