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Help Us plant One Million Trees

million treesAs you are aware, the INTO has been lending its backing to a campaign that aims to plant over one million trees in Africa and Ireland each year, to combat climate change.

We signed up to support this campaign with Self Help Africa in 2020, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic had to defer our active participation until the current school year.

Every school that participates in the One Million Trees campaign will receive a free native Irish tree per classroom, together with age-appropriate lesson plans that can be used by teachers with their pupils.

We believe that as we exit the pandemic, this project provides schools with a pro-active educational intervention that resonates positively with the INTOs goal of Global Citizenship and Solidarity, while allowing schoolchildren to do something practical that responds to the climate change challenge.

Why trees?

Trees are one of the most effective ways to remove harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The communities that Self Help Africa works with in rural Africa have a very small carbon footprint, yet they are among the worst affected by climate change.

This initiative will support the vital food and farming needs of Africa’s rural poor, while contributing to the wider global effort to absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


The INTO has worked with Self Help Africa to develop the resource materials that link with the curriculum, as well as a short lesson plan on native Irish trees and African trees. These resources are available at junior/senior infants, first/second class, third/fourth class and fifth/sixth class levels. We hope that, through this tree planting project, we can educate our young generation and our school communities

about climate change and empower them to become solution driven, rather than problem focused.

You can find out more about the trees that will be planted by visiting Self Help Africa’s online tree directory at

As we launch this campaign, we are hoping to sign up schools and classes willing to support the initiative. We would be grateful if you would help.

You will be able to find more information in InTouch, INTO E-Newsletters, school emails, and from INTO National Committees, Branches, Staff Reps. and member contacts.

We are hoping to sign up schools in the coming weeks to participate in a national planting day in Irish schools on Friday, December 3rd next – when communities in Africa are aiming to plant 25,000 tree seedlings on a single day in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. (Once planting season returns, to celebrate Irish schools efforts, Self Help Africa will plant a further 75,000 seedlings in projects in over 10 other countries).

We would be grateful if you would lend your support to this initiative by:

  • Highlighting this project at INTO interactions, October Meetings, Conferences, Seminars etc.
  • Register your own school and encourage your colleagues to do likewise.
  • Help with identifying schools island-wide who might wish to become involved
  • Support the promotion of this campaign in any other way that you can

Self Help Africa welcome voluntary contributions towards the One Million Trees project. Each donation of €2 from schools will allow us to plant an additional 10 trees in your schools name, in Africa. We will provide you with the geo-location of where they are so that you can look at your trees on Google Maps.

You can read more about this initiative in the accompanying leaflet.

Thanking You,

 Joe McKeown

President, INTO


For information on the campaign please click here

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