Portraits of Resilience

Planting Mangroves with the President

Yesterday the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong  planted Mangrove trees with the youth. The Mangroves are important as they help hold the sand together against further coastal erosion and also acts as a barrier or sea wall from the ocean.

Today the youth group from Teaoraereke planted baby mangrove plants with the President of Kiribati. His name is Anote Tong and he is concerned for our future and the future of Kiribati. Planting mangroves is very important because it holds the sand together to reduce the effects of coastal erosion. And it protects our homes and families like the coral reefs.

It is like a wall that stops or slows down the waves from destroying us. We feel very happy and proud that President Anote came to plant mangrove trees with us. It is the first time for us to meet him and it was very special because he is a very busy man but he must care for the youth a lot to take the time to help us plant mangrove trees.

Even though we planted 1000 trees, our work is far from done. We must plant more and we have to take care of them because now barnacles are starting to kill the baby plants. So we must pick all the barnacles off the plants if they are to survive. It makes us feel angry because there is another problem to solve. But today when the President helped us it made us feel like our government is strong, cares about the youth and our future. And as Anote said “the problems are not just about the future but are effecting us right now.”

- By Eneri Henry, Kabebea Moutu, Tauea Moutu, Tirva Kaumai, Terikano Toromon, Tarataake Reubwatu and Taabuti Matikee (photo credit: Eneri Henry)