The iconic silhouette of the baobab tree can be seen across the plains of Africa. Its massive trunk and scraggly branches spouting out of its top are quite a sight to see. However strange it appears, it is revered across the continent as a “Tree of Life” for its provision of shelter and protection, fruit and nutrients, and its ability to thrive in harsh climates.
The baobab tree can grow quite tall with its trunk surpassing circumferences of 80 feet. A mature trunk is typically hollow, so the large tree provides shelter for animals and humans alike. Its bark is flame-retardant and has several practical uses. The baobab’s coconut-sized fruit is among the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. The famed trees are said to live for thousands of years because of their ability to hold literally tons of water. Thus, this tree can withstand intense seasons of drought, plague, or damage by humans or other natural disasters.
Besides its physical qualities, the tree holds an almost sacred significance among many of their human neighbors. Each tree is “owned” by a community or family, so they are not commercially exploited. The communities revere the tree as an important gathering place: a picture of faithfulness and constancy through the changing generations, a silent and warm listener to the community’s joys and sorrows.
To many students, Daystar is a vast baobab tree offering a haven, a community, and a refreshing source of life to bring about growth. Many young men and women studying on campus have endured hardships as refugees, orphans, or victims of famine or crime. Others have lived happy and simple lives. Regardless, all students are “fed” by the spiritual hope offered at Daystar and find community under its various branches of academic or social interest. Students belong to Daystar and Daystar belongs to them.
Just as the baobab tree stands for Africa, Daystar U.S. stands for the success of students who would otherwise not have the chance to receive an education. Daystar graduates go out into the world to offer the same refreshment, service, and life they have received, just like small, human baobabs across Africa.