SGI-Philippines Young Men Plant 3,000 Seedlings to Preserve the Environment
In 1999, SGI-Philippines young men began planting trees as part of a government-sponsored "Environment Month." Since then they have continued to plant trees in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental and the Milasag Hills. On June 24, 2007, young men's division (YMD) volunteers set off at 1:00 a.m. by chartered bus from Manila to Nueva Vizcaya, a province located near the central mountains of Luzon. Over 50 volunteers -- YMD members from Manila joined by local Vizcaynos -- planted more than 3,000 seedlings on the mountains of Santa Fe.
In the afternoon, the young men met with local children and watched an animated adaptation of The Prince and the Coral Sea, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's story for children about the value of protecting and caring for the natural environment. The animation is part of "Happy Tales," a DVD collection of SGI President Ikeda's children's stories released in the Philippines. After the screening, the young men presented the children with school supplies, such as pencils, crayons and notebooks. They also presented supplies and books entrusted to them by SGI-Philippines women's division members to Bacneng Elementary School.
Following the day's activities, although exhausted, the youth all shared a sense of fulfillment. One young man reported, "After this experience, I had a better appreciation for trees and the significance of planting trees to our environment and to our own lives.... What's important is that we take action. And one way of creating peace with the environment is by planting trees."
[Adapted from a report on the official website of SGI-Philippines http://www.sgi.org.ph/. Photos courtesy of SGI-Philippines]