Vancouver Dawoodi Bohra Teen Organizes Tree Planting Event 

Vancouver Dawoodi Bohra Teen Organizes Tree Planting Event in Orchard Grove Park, Surrey, BC 

This event has been featured in the Surrey Now-Leader, Peace Arch News, and Miracle News.

Naumann Mascati, a 16-year-old Surrey, British Columbia high school student helped organize a tree planting event in Orchard Grove Park on October 14. The group of more than 30 volunteers, including young children, teens, and adults, planted nearly 40 trees. The event was initiated  to mark the 80th birthday of the Dawoodi Bohra’s global faith leader, His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, and as a tribute to Syedna’s emphasis on environmental awareness and conservation. 

Mascati partnered with Releaf Tree Planting, an initiative by the City of Surrey to grow Surrey’s urban forest by planting shrubs and trees in local parks. The group planted trees and shrubs including Big Leaf Maple, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Snowberry, Thimbleberry and Red Flowering Currant in a designated area of the park. The selection of these tree species was carefully made to ensure they are well-suited to the local climate and ecosystem, ultimately contributing to the neighbourhood’s long-term sustainability.

“I’ve regularly been involved in environmental protection programs, taking part and leading cleanups around my high school and at a local park,” said Mascati. “I am glad that kids in my community took part in this event so we can learn from a young age the importance of planting trees. Our youth should be part of the solution for the Climate Crisis that we are currently facing; It’s a priority to protect our planet for our future.”

“It is important to plant trees because they give us oxygen so we can breathe,” said six-year-old Zahra Kazi who participated in the tree planting drive. Each child was also allowed to take a sapling home to plant after the event.

An urban forest stewardship team member commented, “It is wonderful to see how the older children are helping the younger ones when required and I am impressed by the teamwork in this group.”

The Dawoodi Bohras of the Greater Vancouver Area are a community of more than 200 people. The tree planting event was held as part of their global Project Rise initiative, which strives to raise standards of healthcare, nutrition, education, water and sanitation among vulnerable members of society, while protecting and enhancing the natural environment. Bohras throughout North America are hosting similar events.

Besides the tree-planting initiative, the local Bohra community has also contributed to The Mission City Cleanup, Upcycling event activities, Zero waste by converting over 1500 liters of landfill to organic waste during the holy month of Ramadan, incorporating Sustainable Practices at their Community Centre to curb single-use plastics and encouraging young women and girls in the community in Science

Mascati said he plans for the tree planting to be an annual event.

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