Chris-Tiaan Nortjé, 11, has a dream to fight global warming and make South Africa a healthier place to live in so he planted 750 spekbooms during his holidays.
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (16 January 2020) – Chris-Tiaan Nortjié, age 11, is working to educate as many people as possible about the benefits of the spekboom. The tween has planted nearly 4000 plants since he started his ‘Spekboom Initiative Against Global Warming’ in September 2019.
During his school holidays, Chris-Tiaan planted 750 spekbooms which left many people inspired and asking what his story is? Well, Chris-Tiaan is being raised by his grandparents, who firmly believe in raising him to think he can make a difference. Chris-Tiaan was born with Autism and suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, but he calls it “awesomenism” as he says it is his super-power.
Sadly, Chris-Tiaan’s mother passed away in 2017 due to illness. He has faced many challenges since then, but by focussing on benefitting South Africa, he is able to deal with every challenge.
Charlotte Coetzee, Chris-Tiaan’s grandmother, says he started to show an interest in her succulents which bloomed into a passion for preventing global warming.
“His positivity and bravery, despite his many challenges, have inspired me to keep on going, to try harder and to never give up. We believe in targeting, inspiring, educating and mobilizing the youth of our country, we can make a difference to save our planet.” – Charlotte Coetzee
Once Chris-Tiaan learned everything he could, he realised he wanted to teach other children too. Together with his grandmother, they made up an educational pamphlet which they hope to distribute to various schools.
They are raising funds to help Chris-Tiaan get to schools across South Africa where he can hand out the pamphlets and teach his fellow youths about spekbooms and how to protect the planet from global warming. His goals are to:
- Procure more mother Spekboom plants,
- Pot 12 000 plants every year of his life
- Launching a major social media campaign to raise awareness of this amazing plant and its potential effect on global warming.
- Educate all South Africans about using this plant as gifts instead of commercial gifts and flowers – because it keeps on giving for up to 200 yrs
- We are planning to hand out reading and plant material at Special Events where 1000’s of people are gathered. We already got 6000 pamphlets printed.
- We also plan to visit five schools per week, 300 per year to educate scholars about the superpowers of the Spekboom and promote the planting of Spekboom at all schools
“The biggest obstacle that we face is that we have been using our own funds. Unfortunately, the available resources are not enough to cover the expenses around this project.”
If you would like to support his cause, you can do so here. The funds are being managed and kept by a Trust set up in his parent’s names. You can also find out more about his mission via Facebook here.