Willard Batteries - creating ambassadors for a greener future

Willard Batteries and Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) have once again collaborated to plant trees and food gardens, this time at Windmill Park Secondary School in Boksburg, Gauteng. 

FTFA, a food security and greening non-profit organisation, has planted more than 4-million trees in communities around South Africa over the last 30 years, and with Willard Batteries’ generous support, the two were able to bring a touch of green to an area beset by crime and poverty.

Planting trees at schools is not solely about adding a touch of green. It’s a profound way to impart vital lessons about the significance of environmental sustainability and the urgent need to create a greener future, something Willard has been committed to for many years.

“This tree planting event is like an outdoor classroom where our children can engage in hands-on learnings that foster a deep connection to nature and a sense of responsibility towards the environment”, commented Mr. Thabo Mokgwatsana, Principal of Windmill Park Secondary School, who gave a short speech to open the proceedings.

“Events like today provide a tangible and lasting symbol of growth and positive change. As the children nurture these saplings over the years, they’ll witness firsthand their transformation from small, fragile plants to mature, thriving trees. This process will instil in them a sense of patience as they comprehend that meaningful change to restore and preserve our planet's health for future generations, takes time.”

Having the tree planting take place at a school in an area in need of greening provided teachers and the Food & Trees for Africa representatives the ideal platform to explain how trees combat the rising levels of carbon dioxide, a major driver of global warming. The learners in attendance were keen to answer the questions posed by Food & Trees facilitator, Jeminiah Mkize, who went on to demonstrate how the trees and food gardens should be planted and maintained.

She explained that “Getting the students to plant the trees and gardens themselves helps them in a practical way. And it also helps them to start to get their heads around the concept of a "carbon footprint" by understanding how planting trees locally can contribute to the global effort of offsetting carbon emissions.”

The day would not have been possible without Willard Batteries which had a large and enthusiastic crew eager to assist with the planting of trees, putting up banners and handing out treats to the learners.

Corne Strydom, Sales and Marketing Executive at AutoX, explains how events such as these helps promote teamwork and community engagement, “Students work together to dig holes, plant saplings, and water the young trees. This collaboration fosters a sense of unity and collective responsibility. When children witness the impact of their collective efforts, it empowers them to believe in their ability to effect positive change, both locally and globally.”

“At Willard we are proud that our contribution to Food & Trees for Africa has the ultimate effect of developing the beginnings of an emotional bond between the children and the trees they plant. This emotional attachment, we hope, can translate into a stronger commitment to environmental stewardship as they grow older.”