Kenyan President Plants an Olive Tree in Jerusalem

March 2, 2016 08:28
2 minute read.

Kenyan President Plants an Olive Tree in Jerusalem. (photo credit: KKL-JNF)

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta plants an olive tree in the KKL-JNF Grove of Nations in Jerusalem as a symbol of peace and friendship between Kenya and Israel.
“I hope and pray that the tree we are planting today shall symbolize the deepening of our relations”, Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, said in a planting ceremony held on 23.2.2016 at the Grove of Nations in Jerusalem. Heads of State from all over the world plant trees in the Grove of Nations while visiting Israel. The grove, established by KKL-JNF in Jerusalem Forest, stands for peace among nations and identification with the State of Israel and the Jewish people. 
“Kenya is one of Israel’s best and most important friends”, said KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar. “Like Israel, Kenya is also a young state that has to face many challenges. Young states are capable of innovating and creating something from nothing. This is the secret of their power”. 
Karin Bolton-Laor, the director of the International Relations and Conferences Department at KKL-JNF, presented the Furrows in the Desert project, in which KKL-JNF is a partner. Furrows in the Desert is assisting the Turkana people in Kenya transition from a nomadic grazing society to a more sustainable agrarian economy. Experts from KKL-JNF share the knowledge they have accumulated about agriculture in desert areas including dealing with tough climatic and soil conditions and lack of water; in this way, they help the Turkana people sustain themselves through farm work and attain nutritional security. 
The President of Kenya has expressed his hopes that the unique project expands to other areas in his country. “We in Kenya can learn a lot from KKL-JNF, which has planted 240 million trees through the years. We are working on a memorandum of understanding between our forestry services and KKL-JNF. We hope to see this partnership grow and evolve”, he said. 
After the prayers and the exchange of greetings, it was time to roll up sleeves and get to work. The eminent guests were not put off by the muddy grounds on this rainy day, and went to the planting area. President Kenyatta and KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar proceeded to plant an olive tree together. 
The President of Kenya promised that this would not his last visit in Israel. “I will come back to see how my tree is growing”, he said with a smile.

For further information, comments or permission please contact
Ahuva Bar-Lev
KKL-JNF – Information and Internet Department

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