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Local NGO in “green peace” gesture against gender violence

THREE local schools, Alexander Sinton High, Al Azhar High and Lwazi Primary in Gugulethu, enjoyed tree planting ceremonies to symbolise gender peace and to commemorate Arbor Week, which is celebrated at the beginning of September each year. Awqaf South Africa, an NGO that focuses on sustainable community growth, partnered with the City of Cape Town and the False Bay Nature Reserve, to bring home the importance of environmental awareness, and to also make a symbolic gesture of “green peace” with regards to gender violence. At each school, three Waterbessie trees and one olive tree were planted. The Waterbessie is an indigenous water-loving evergreen tree with waxy leaves, ideal for the high-water table Cape Flats, and grows to an impressive height of 15 metres when mature. The historical olive, which can provide fruit for centuries, was planted at each school as a symbolic gesture of peace, and a living monument against the gender violence currently traumatising the country. “The dove and the olive are partners in peace, and by planting the olive tree we plant hope into the soil. One day the dove will rest in its branches and complete the cycle,” said Mickaeel Collier, Deputy CEO of Awqaf. Joyful Lwazi Primary School learners join City of Cape Town and the False Bay Nature Reserve staff and Awqaf SA staff member for a group photo. Awqaf SA Project Co-ordinater: Hasanain Abdullah addresses the High School learners during the tree planting ceremony. “There is a need to green our centres of education ...

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