For March I chose the International Day of Forests for my monthly campaign. With this knowledge, I started thinking about what outdoor activities I could do , and how to inspire in order to involve in all steps the team and the other volunteers of PRAXIS and the local society . I wanted to have an activity mostly for the Praxis and local volunteers, because of the Covid restrictions, and at first, I was thinking about having it in a forest. With the help of Anna, we decided to have a tree planting in the refugee camp.
Once the idea was set, one of us started contacting the manager of the camp and the municipality. After we got the official permission from the municipality, we started preparing the activity in a more detailed way. I organized the material needed; I prepared a press release, posters and of course we picked up the trees. The exact plan of the activity was to plant the trees and to also label them with names such as “diversity”, “solidarity” or “equality”.
For the preparation, it is very important to always have another activity in mind, because unexpected things, such as bad weather, might happen. In my case the municipality couldn’t have given us permission to plant the trees into the area that we choose, which is why I had the second activity in mind, to pick up trash in the forest, with the other volunteers and locals. During this activity, I didn’t play a big role in the preparation because the biggest part of the preparation was official work, communication with the local authorities, Serres’ municipality, forest department of Serres, Manager of the Refugees camp, which I couldn’t do so, this was running by other PRAXIS’ team. I prepared more details such as taking care of the plants, inviting people via social media, do promotion via social media and preparing a short speech as an introduction for this open event.
This activity was really important to show how so many different people can work together and create something really beautiful.
At the same time, we could raise awareness towards the climate crisis and deforestation.
For our activities, we want to have a big impact on as many people as possible. The key to inviting as many people as possible for this activity, during the lockdown was the local volunteers and the fact that we were able to plant the trees inside the refugee camp. We could have an impact on a lot of people even if they were not participating, they saw us and started thinking about the reasons why we were planting the trees.
During these times the biggest impact on other people we can reach is on social media, which is why I posted posters and pictures about this activity.
For me, this activity was really interesting because I have never done anything like this before. I like nature and I think that deforestation is a really big threat to our health. Even though this activity was rather small and didn’t have a big impact on the bigger picture, it still had a message that everyone can do something even if it is just super small. Think globally -Act locally!
In general, we could have a big impact in many different ways with this tree planting activity. We could set a stand against climate change and at the same time, we could have a positive impact on the local community.
This article was written by Melisa Mussa, German Volunteer in Praxis Greece