I have had the opportunity, the pleasure and the honor to meet, to befriend and to work with people from across the world; an opportunity and a privilege that I know most people don’t have. Traveling Europe when I was 18, spending 13 years with the International Monetary Fund and working on the climate emergency for the past 15 years with colleagues and friends from across the globe, I have met people from many varied backgrounds, cultures, and countries. Some of these people came into my life for a short time and others for a lifetime. I have learned that in many ways we are all so similar and yet, in many ways so very different too. There is much that we can learn from one another as we build trust, relationships and a way forward – together.
Over the past year, through my work with Our Kids Climate, I have had the honor of getting to know Herbert Murungi from Uganda. Herbert is an incredibly kind and caring person. He is concerned about our future and now and is doing everything he can to educate youth leaders, contemporaries, and elders in his country and around the world to do their part too. Herberts storybook, James the Steward was one of our “Top Ten Children’s book for 2020”, and Herbert’s second children’s book Keeper of the Forest, launched in June 2021.
The story below is from Herbert, as told in his words. Herbert lives and has grown up in Uganda where cultural rules and norms, still require that a man pay a “brides price” to marry. For many of us in the West, this may seem both strange and archaic. But for Herbert and his wonderful wife to be Rose, this is their reality. Both of them are reaching out to friends, family and people they don’t know, to share their story, to call for an end of this cultural practice, and to focus attention on solutions to the climate crisis as part of their journey. Please read Herbert’s story below. If you feel inclined, please join me as well in supporting Herbert and Rose’s wedding fundraiser where they will plant 500 trees at local schools in Uganda. Herbert can be reached through RESI and is always happy to share more about his work, both with school communities and in bringing solar cooking to villages across Uganda.
As we live this time of climate emergency. Finding people who build up and create active hope through their actions is critically important and inspiring. Herbert is one of these people.
Your Climate Mama,
500 Trees: The Story of Herbert and Rose
by Herbert Murungi
My name is Herbert Murungi, I’m an environmental scientist, social entrepreneur and a co-founder of RESI (Rural Environmental Sustainability Initiative). I write children’s storybooks about climate and environmental conservation because of the strong belief that anything nurtured at an early age gets embraced easily all through one’s life with value attachment. Our goal is to educate the youth so that they understand, prepare, adapt and fight the climate crisis. I have co-authored 2 children storybooks-James the Steward and Keeper of the Forest. I encourage you to read and get your child a copy.
My fiancée Rose is a civil engineer and takes pride in building excellent homes and schools for children. Her hobby is crocheting. In the fall of 2020, we agreed to get married in 2021. We thought of wedding ceremonies. We talked about the glitz and glamour of African weddings. We agreed that the pomp of the events carries no significant impact on society and environment. We decided to use our wedding as an opportunity to communicate to young couples of our generation. Our message is simple, the wedding pomp lasts a day, but memories live in our hearts forever. Let us use these life occasions to impact lives around us, and do good to our Earth.
Rose and I will plant 500 trees (fruit and indigenous trees) in 10 schools with children to
commemorate our marriage journey. Each child will plant a tree and give it his/her name.
Together with the school administration we will support every child to ensure that his/her tree flourishes. Trees will be planted in October 2021 and our friend Alan, who holds Master’s degree in Forestry, is guiding us on tree selection and site assessments.
To realize our goal, we need your support towards buying, and taking care of trees in schools. You can support us by contributing $10.00 for a tree. You are encouraged to contribute by buying any number of trees.
Thank you for being part of our story!