Growing a Healthy Tree
A seed is encoded with a natural life trajectory. It carries certain biological features that make its probability of becoming a thriving plant high, but not guaranteed. In this way, a seed has a kind of “potential”; however, the full realization of this potential depends on the seed’s environmental conditions.
In many ways, we believe people are the same. Girls and boys are encoded with potential. Whether or not this potential is fully realized is strongly influenced by the conditions in which they grow up: the soil, water, and climate all play a role in developing a strong root system and ability to grow.
When a girl has the opportunity to be empowered through education, to develop her own unique voice (agency), and to learn the principles of economic thinking, the conditions are right for her to flourish. When systems of oppression are removed and replaced with the good soil of a safe and supportive environment, it allows a girl to live into the fullness of her own potential: a fullness that will sprout new leaves and spread seeds of change that will inspire future generations of children.
When a boy is empowered with the same education, sense of leadership and agency, and economic know-how, he too will grow into the fullness of his potential and, rather than blocking others’ light, he will help direct it towards others, opening space for them to flourish equally. He will serve as a necessary voice in his family and community, advocating for girls, and becoming a necessary part of generational change.
When women and men are empowered to recognize their own inherent gifts and talents, educated with good parenting skills, and introduced to new ways to build a better economic future for their family and community, an entire ecosystem that is most conducive to continuous growth is formed.
We chose an acacia tree logo to represent the Mekuno Project, in part, because of its prevalence in Kenya, our country of focus, and primarily because of its resilience amid changing environmental conditions and symbolic overlap with our philosophy of empowerment.
We are inspired by the use of the word ‘grow’: mekuno. Mekuno is a Greek word meaning to cause to grow or to give increase. It is used just once in the New Testament, Mark 4:26-28, where it speaks of the growth of a plant daily in good soil, but not knowing how it grows: it just does. The co-founders were personally inspired by this, as it symbolized the incredible ability of communities to grow and thrive when the right resources and conditions exist, growth flourishes--that miracles can happen if you start small, and dream big.