Last Saturday, as we came to the end of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Week, parents joined us at Ngong Forest Sanctuary to plant trees in memory of their babies who didn’t get to stay. The tree planting was the second one organized by Still A Mum, the first one having been held last year.
The tree planting event was for parents who had experienced baby loss, as well as family and friends who wanted to show their support. The event kicked off with Still A Mum founder, Wanjiru Kihusa, welcoming the parents. There was also a short discussion about how to support dads better after child loss.
The land that had been set apart for the tree planting was a kilometre’s walk from the event venue within the forest and many got their week’s exercise from the trek! After receiving a few instructions about how to plant the seedlings, we got to work. Less than an hour later, 200 seedlings were firmly in the ground, ready to receive the rains that we have been recently been blessed with.
Photographers were on hand to capture the occasion, take photos of the parents planting their seedlings, and to take group photos after the planting was done. Printing of the photos was done on site and the participants got each first photo they took completely free.
Back at the venue, tasty snacks and water were available courtesy of African Kaya. As parents rested from the walk back, they ate, interacted, had customized bracelets made, and took photos at the photo booth.
We appreciate all the people who turned up to commemorate the lives of their little ones gone too soon. Sometimes it’s difficult to think about the loss of a baby but in planting trees, we ensured that they remain honoured even as we journey towards healing. Tears were shed, hugs were given, and connections were made. It was a fulfilling way to affirm that though our babies did not stay long, they are never forgotten.