By a member of Vassall Ward Youth Group from Brixton


It was a bright morning in March 2005. My hands were muddy with soil in one of Kenya's villages at an elementary school called, Echareria Primary School. I didn't only plant a tree in the village of Mbaruk, but I planted a deep love and relationship with the once used to be green land, with the village, which was trying to raise educated children with very limited resources and with the students, who were humble and disciplined, far more than expected for their age. 

I am one of the people who had a chance to be part of the youth exchange UK-Kenya in 2005. It was organised by a youth project called Vassall Ward and Mbaruk Ecology Centre, who had planned for us to do some community work in Mbaruk. We did landscaping, we planted trees and flowers, we treated the existing ones, and some of us helped with building new rooms for the Centre. We also painted an Eco-Club room at the elementary school.                                                   

Mbaruk Ecology Centre is an interesting place where one can see all the stages that trees go through. Small trees ready to go to their permanent place, grown trees, compost and a 100 metre deep well in one compound. Well-looked after by a family who live next door, the Ecology Centre does its best to distribute plants in the area.

My time in Mbaruk has been one of the most rewarding and memorable in my life and I would like to thank the Mbarukians for their warm welcome. They made my Kenyan experience so deep and unforgettable."