Trees for goals: the teenager playing to end deforestation

Art installation in the Stadium, Trees planted in Stadium to bring awareness for climate change. [Shutterstock]

Lesein, a 15-year-old Kenyan, is one of the thousands of youngsters around the globe who have joined Greta Thunberg in her fight against climate change. He has been planting trees for every goal he scores since 2018, as his way of contributing to the fight.

Lesein uses football and social media to raise awareness of deforestation and climate change.

“I learnt about deforestation and climate change with sadness and started planting trees for every goal I score as I am a football player,” the teenager said in a statement after running second in the Green Kids Award in Kenya.

The young player has tied his passion for sports to his determination to fight deforestation. “Everyone should do their little thing and mine is planting and playing football,” he said in a post on his Instagram account.

Lesein wishes to see his project replicated in other areas of Kenya and beyond and encourages his school mates, as well as the members of his team, to follow him and plant trees too.

He is using his social media channels to raise awareness on climate change too. Lesein promotes the use of reusable materials and phasing out single-use plastics and advocates for a change in politics to better protect the environment.

UN Youth Climate Summit

Last week, the UN hosted a global summit on climate change in New York and one of the star speakers was Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish activist who has been mobilising people to strike for the climate for months.

On Saturday (21 September), the UN brought together young activist driving climate action around the world to showcase their solutions, exchange experiences and have the chance to engage with decision-makers.

They demanded leaders of the world to “stop wasting time” and start taking actions to stop climate change. In a complaint, they urged member states to take action “to protect all children from the devastating impacts of climate change.”

Lesein was one of the participants of the UN Youth Climate Summit.

“The effect of climate change requires world leaders to take urgent action, which is why it’s so important that the Secretary-General is bringing together youth activists like me to hold them accountable and urge them to act now,” Lesein said in a post.

“Young people are the ones forcing climate action,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said following his meeting with young activist, “this is a battle we can and must win,” he stressed.

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LIFE TACKLE is co-funded by the LIFE Environmental Governance and Information Programme of the European Union - Project Number LIFE17 GIE/IT/000611



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