Fazlrahman, 23, loves nature. His friends call him a “flower addict” as he obsessively collects flowers and plants to make his own small courtyard garden and decorate his room with the collections of flower pots. Walking along the streets of Jalalabad city, Fazlrahman once noticed a bare land filled with dirt and garbage which makes the city look ugly and unhealthy. “What if we can plant some trees there?” Ali said to himself silently.
Jalalabad, in the eastern part of the country, is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Afghanistan thanks to the large green areas and surrounding water. However, young people never stop making this city even greener and set an example for other provinces too. As spring is getting closer each year, tree planting reaches its peak in this city and tens of young people start to plant trees and encourage others to do so.
Identifying some bare lands suitable for planting trees across the city, Fazlrahman decides to launch a Tree-Planting Campaign. “This is an opportunity to strengthen our link with nature and also build social cohesion.”
“One of the main purposes of the tree-planting campaign is to contribute to cleaner air and greener environment in our city.” Said Fazlurahman. “Presence of trees in the cities can have a positive effect on human health both physically and mentally.”
They managed to collect 500 tree seedlings from the department of agriculture to plant in certain locations they had identified across the city.
Fazlurahman brought together more than 20 enthusiastic young people including girls to voluntarily engage in the campaign and help with the implementation of the campaign. During the campaign, they also invited the public such as passers-by to take part in the planting and share their messages as well.
“Another main objective of this campaign was to help the public especially young men and women engage together in action.” He said. “I believe such activities ensure social cohesion and help to form stronger communities. For instance, during this campaign, we noticed that elderly people interacted with young people and women worked alongside men. Children and students were encouraged to take part too. Street vendors, municipal workers, and police officers never hesitated to join.”
One of the passers-by who volunteered to participate says, “Each member of our community will not only admire such sorts of activities but also will work shoulder to shoulder with them and will have strong cooperation with young leaders.” Women also showed interested in planting trees and had a great contribution. “Women make up half of our society, how can we have a complete green society without the participation of women?” according to one of the female participants.
“This campaign and the appreciations we received from the public gave us more energy and confidence to continue our activities in the future” According to Fazlurahman.