World Environment Day is a worldwide awareness drive for the environment that is celebrated annually on the 5th of June. Over the years it has developed into a broad, global platform for public outreach and is celebrated by stakeholders in many countries across the world. This day also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, where individuals work together to generate a positive impact on the planet. Some of these activities include simple action like tree planting, initiating eco-friendly methods by minimising the number of electrical appliances used, watering the garden, recycling waste material and saving water.

Monash South Africa (MSA) has been actively involved in various education related community engagement initiatives over the past decade and has stepped up its efforts further by collaborating with Partners for Possibility to facilitate a partnership with a local school. In light of World Environment Day MSA student and Miss Earth SA semi-finalist, Rumbi Zindi teamed up with the MSA staff and students and hosted a tree-planting day at the school that they have committed to mentor, West Rand Primary Mine School, one of the 66 under-resourced schools identified by the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi.

Miss Earth SA Semi-finallist Zindi commented that she felt “adding trees to schools makes them more welcoming, creates outdoor classrooms and also allows scholars to reconnect with the environment during break time.” Zindi spent some time educating learners and staff at the school regarding the importance of caring for indigenous trees such as these. “We also hope that planting these trees will connect these scholars to the benefits of trees and foster a culture of environmental stewardship.”

West Rand Primary Principal Cynthia Boniswa Ngejane commented via Facebook “What a wonderful time we had, learners; students and us. Big thumbs up to Monash South Africa!”

“Monash South Africa features a strongly actioned ethos of developing skills that students can learn through community projects; developing employability; and building students into valuable and dynamic members of their community. Our goals, and those of so many of our students,  are truly aligned with those of the MEC and Partners for Possibility, and we believe that through partnership and continued collaboration we can bring about social cohesion and improved education for all the stakeholders in our community,” concluded Louw.