GBM Blog

A new partnership with Oikocredit

November 4, 2015 - 03:45PM
Published by Communications

The students of Kasarani Primary do their bit towards greening their school.Today, the Green Belt Movement (GBM) in partnership with Oikocredit held a tree planting event at Kasarani Primary School in Nairobi. The event marked a new partnership that will see GBM’s ‘Greening Urban Schools’ programme grow and nurture more than 15,000 indigenous trees in different schools in Nairobi County over the next two years.

Oikocredit, a worldwide cooperative and social investor with offices across East Africa, including Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, focuses on partnering for economic progress and social justice. Part of its strategy is to also protect the environment, which is why it chose a sustainable celebration such a tree planting as a way of celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Kasarani Primary School is surrounded by open fields, making the classrooms vulnerable to high winds, thereby disrupting learning. Through Oikocredit’s support, GBM will plant and grow 3,000 trees at this school, creating a natural and beautiful windbreaker, which will also attract birds and other small wildlife.

The other 12,000 trees will be planted and grown by GBM in four different schools over the next two years.

David Woods, managing director of Oikocredit, said: “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved over the last 40 years, particularly with our work across Africa. So I find it quite fitting to commemorate our 40th anniversary with the planting of thousands of trees at schools in Kenya, a country where we’ve had a strong local presence for over 20 years. Over the next 40 years, we will be looking to provide more sustainable approaches to investing in more countries across Africa and the rest of the world.”

Green Belt Movement’s Executive Director, Aisha Karanja said: “We’re very pleased to partner with Oikocredit on such a worthwhile initiative. Oikocredit has shown over the last 20 years that it is committed not only to providing monetary investments in Kenya, but also sustainable ones. Oikocredit’s contribution to our Greening Urban Schools programme will have a lasting impact on our children as well as our environment.”  

Founded in 1975, Oikocredit is one of the world’s largest sources of private funding to the microfinance sector, providing credit and equity to small businesses through microfinance institutions in low-income countries and directly to trade cooperatives, fair trade organizations and small to medium enterprises.