Strong connections have been made between Kangaroo Island locals and visiting tree-planting volunteers originally from Afghanistan at a difficult time for all Afghan people.
Last weekend saw 14 hard-working volunteers from the Baba Mazari Foundation and private landholders plant 3600 trees across two KI Land for Wildlife properties.
Foundation board member Besmellah Rezaee said BMF was an Australian charity organisation helping victims of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, as well as supporting the education of underprivileged children who are forced into labour work due to poverty.
Despite all the difficulties in their own country, the Afghan community in South Australia has been raising funds for Kangaroo Island.
Then this month, they had a chance to come over and see the Island's recovery and help plant trees to assist that recovery.
"After the devastating bush fires in 2019/2020, BMF managed a fundraising campaign among the Hazara community in Australia and donated a sum of around $87,000 to the state government," Besmellah said.
"The visiting volunteers were Hazara residents of South Australia, their aim through the foundation is to contribute to protecting the native wildlife in their state of residency as a way of giving thanks.
"Planting trees native on this Island is of paramount importance and value."
Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife's Vanessa Messmer said the "KI LfW" project had seen over 7000 biodiverse trees planted across fire-affected Western KI threatened species habitat.
Revegetation projects of this size were not achievable without the support of dedicated volunteers and KI LfW private property owners, she said.
"This revegetation project will improve habitat for threatened species like the KI dunnart and the Bassian thrush as well as extend refuge corridors," she said.
"It was an absolute honour to work with BMF over the weekend, their enthusiasm and positivity was an inspiration. We are very thankful for all their help and hard work.
"We were deeply touched by their stories and incredible generosity both financially and in particular for taking the time to visit the Island and help KI LfW complete this revegetation project."
With news from Afghanistan that the Taliban have taken control of Kabul, threatening thousands of Afghans, including the minority Hazara community, and family and friends of the humble BMF volunteers, their help and dedication to Kangaroo Island cannot be appreciated enough.
"Our hearts go out to our new friends," Vanessa said.
You can find more information about Baba Mazari Foundation and to make a donation please visit https://bmfoundation.org.au
This revegetation project would not have been possible without the financial support of The Foundation for Australia's Most Endangered Species (FAME) and their generous donors.
All trees were grown by the local Kangaroo Island Native Plant Nursery in Kingscote.
If you would like to learn more about KI Land for Wildlife or become a member, please email email@example.com