Solidarity is an act of hope.
Solidarity means moving in the direction of pain in the world, standing with those who are suffering and taking up their cause as if it were your own. Doing so is both an act of hope and an imitation of Christ.
Vitor Westhelle once
Why is saving small amounts of money impactful?
Although saving a couple dozen cents a week does not sound like much, it is significant. The impact of 20-30 women saving thirty cents a week is catalytic. It causes a chain reaction of change which results in benefits for both the individual
First of all, what is a biodiversity hotspot?
You might guess by the name that it’s a place on earth where biodiversity is either abundant or threatened. In fact, both are correct. To be a biodiversity hotspot, a location must meet two criteria:
You cannot find half a percent
Restoration happens through everyday decisions
At a glance, environmental restoration looks like a very large undertaking—and that’s true, in part. Threats to the health of the planet have reached an urgent, global scale. But the magnitude of the challenge should not distract us from this simple reality:
Plant With Purpose is deeply committed to environmental restoration. This dream is shared among our partners in eight different countries. Jah Cho envisions future generations being able to reap the benefit of a restored forests. Isaias imagines that his community of Ojo de Agua as a rejuvenated, green landscape.
Purpose Partners are more than just donors. They’re believers.
If you want to know what keeps our work going, look no further than our Purpose Partner community. Our support from these monthly donors means that every month, rural communities plant forests. Mothers in Tanzania, Burundi, and the DRC open small
The 2018 Annual Report is Here
We’re excited to announce that we’ve completed the 2018 Annual Report! We can’t wait to share it with you.
The Annual Report includes updates on our program activities, finances, and impact across our eight partnering countries.
But that’s not all.
Our Annual Report is just
What is a savings group?
Sometimes called savings groups, sometimes called Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), these are savings-led microfinance groups that work to combat poverty. For those unable to benefit from a formal financial institution, these groups offer participants an opportunity to save, grow their money, and take
Whether we realize it or not, water plays a major role in our lives. Think about your personal morning routine. Maybe it includes taking a shower, brushing your teeth, or preparing an omelet for breakfast. All of these activities revolve around water. We use water constantly. But are we using
Wherever you live, water is vital
March 22 is World Water Day, and it’s a great opportunity to take a deeper look at the importance of clean water to people all around the world.
If you’ve never had to struggle to access clean water, it can be all too easy
The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth. It’s justice.
This quote comes from Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy. In that book, Stevenson recounts his experiences as a lawyer, working to exonerate people who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. His work to get people off of death row and out of
If you’re a Purpose Partner, if you’ve started a fundraiser for Plant With Purpose, or if you’ve ever donated towards our mission of reversing poverty and deforestation, you should know that your donations weren’t a hand-out. It’s more accurate to think of your gift as an investment. The financial growth
Twelve years ago, the village of San Isidro Trementina was devastated
The small, rural community in Mexico was made up of farmers. When the land was well, the crops grew and the people were well. When the land suffered, so did the crops and the people in the village.
Jah Cho’s smile is contagious
If you catch Jah Cho among his neighbors in Northern Thailand, you won’t have to wait very long before he offers up some jokes. His many stories, told in his Lahu dialect, are always accompanied with a big smile and belly laugh. Jah Cho is
As Plant With Purpose prepares to begin its work in Ethiopia, our international team has spent time learning from local leaders and experts about its environment. The East African nation has seen a number of changes over the past year, including a new prime minister, its first female president, as
If you planted a tree for every tree mentioned between Genesis and Revelation, you would easily end up planting quite a large forest.
You’ll find a bush that burns without burning up, a court held underneath palm trees. You’ll find Jesus in a garden hours before his death and mistaken
Being a parent means wanting the best for your children. This simple desire is present in parents no matter what part of the world they live in, and it allows parents from California to the Congo, from Haiti to Hollywood to relate to each other.
While all families want these
Savings groups help rural communities grow out of poverty through their own resources. As members gain the opportunity to save their money, that money is then lent out to reinvest back into the community through small businesses, livestock, education, and other means.
Alongside that activity, however, groups also gather a
The following post has been adapted from an article by Matthew Sleeth for Christianity Today. You may read the full version here.
Trees are found all throughout Scripture
Every major character and every major theological event in the Bible has an associated tree. The only exception to this pattern is
That is the amount of families currently working directly with Plant With Purpose across eight countries. As we seek to grow and expand, its important to look at what families experience on an individual level.
A typical family in Tanzania is a good representation of the hopes and worries
Many people associate Thanksgiving with consuming large amounts of meat, the heaviest travel days of the year, and spending most of the day recovering from overeating by watching sports or TV shows.
Nothing about that is very sustainable, yet gratitude and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Being a wise steward of our
In his village, there were no banks. And that was a big problem.
Palmarito is in the rural Dominican Republic. Like many rural parts of the country, the community lacked banks.
This wasn’t just an inconvenience. Having somewhere to save your money makes a big difference in economic wellness. Having
Trying to make an impact on the world isn’t an easy task. While change is possible, the process isn’t linear. There are ups and downs, setbacks, and moments of discouragement that every person who tries to make an impact faces.
That’s why a key trait of people who make a
Eating every part of produce items is a valuable habit to help reduce food waste.
Just about every person is guilty of it in some way or another; we waste a lot of food. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household in the United States tosses out about
In the central hills of the Dominican Republic sits a community that has been part of the Plant With Purpose family for many years. La Represa has become an exciting example of what kind of change is possible when we invest in holistic change.
Once they faced a situation familiar
A couple weeks ago, our team had the opportunity to go to STORY Gathering in Nashville, Tennessee. As far as the conference goes, it’s so unlike other conferences that it’s a bit hard to describe. In short, it’s a place for people who believe that a well-told story can change
Purpose Partners make our world go around
If you don’t know what it means to be a Purpose Partner, well, hopefully you’re new to Plant With Purpose because we like to talk about our Purpose Partners a lot. We celebrate them.
Purpose Partners are the reason:
John Mark McMillan: Creation care is an act of love
John Mark McMillan is a widely-respected music artist. He is also passionate about how the environment impacts people. This fall, Plant With Purpose has had the privilege of teaming up with John Mark McMillan on his seventeen city tour. The
What is silvopasture?
Silvopasture is a farming method that has the potential to relieve some of the planet’s biggest environmental problems. Estimates suggest that has the capacity to reduce carbon dioxide by 31.19 gigatons of and the potential for over $650 billion in economic savings.
Millions of rural farmers around
The communities where Plant With Purpose works are some of the most difficult places on the Earth to live.
As much as our stories focus on change and how a better world is possible, they are also incomplete without a reminder that our group members live very difficult lives.
People need trees, and trees need people.
What would happen without trees? In many parts of the world, people would suffer greatly.
Trees fix soil with vital nutrients. Trees fix beneficial nutrients in the earth which enables other plants to grow, including vegetables and crops needed to feed people and
A little devil is in danger.
By “little devil,” we mean the Black-capped Petrel, a charming bird species that boasts sleek black wings and a white underbelly. The seabird lives off of seafood, spending most of the day soaring over the ocean in search of fish to feast on. At
Recently, some members of our team paid a visit to Haiti to meet participants from our program. The trip was meaningful and brought to life many aspects of Plant With Purpose’s program. Our Creative Director, Philippe, shares about an encounter meeting our friend Gernita.
The community of Fonds Verrettes is
Where is the most difficult place on the planet to survive?
You could certainly make a case for a few of the countries where Plant With Purpose works.
Experts frequently mention the Democratic Republic of the Congo among the most difficult countries for someone to live. Frequent episodes of
We don’t do anything alone. Plant With Purpose has been blessed by the generosity of so many different kinds of supporters, from churches across different denominations to innovative companies and startups to passionate individuals. Each month, we love to feature a new partner who has made our work possible. This
It started with a different vision.
About twenty years ago, a visit to the community of Ojo de Agua, “the eye of water” in Mexico’s Mixteca region would have looked quite different. The steep hillside would have been brown and dry.
For years, the people of Ojo de Agua relied
Visit any farmer field school across Plant With Purpose’s international programs, and you’ll find people enthusiastic about why you should diversify your crops and income.
Why? To put it simply, diversity is strength.
In many developing countries, farmers have been encouraged to over-invest in a single cash crop.
We’ve been so excited about what’s been happening in our Democratic Republic of the Congo communities.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is undoubtedly one of the most challenging places to live. It is among the most difficult countries to be a mother. Conflict and unrest has threatened the
Haitians are forced to deal with the reality of natural threats.
Haiti is not only a country with many political and economic struggles, but it also has to deal with the fact that it is located in one of the most vulnerable locations when it comes to natural disasters.
Can it be done?
Using planet-friendly products is a great way to live sustainably. From reusable straws to alternative hygiene products, there are so many opportunities to swap out some of your daily use items to ones that do less harm to the environment.
There’s just once concern that comes
Noticing is a spiritual act
Fred Rogers once said that “appreciation is a spiritual thing,” and that’s an idea that has a profound impact on what we believe and how we live.
All throughout scripture, we’re encouraged to engage the world with a profound set of gratitude and wonder at
“We will be known by the problems we solve,” says Jeff Shinabarger, the founder of Plywood Presents.
Plywood Presents was a gathering of nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, and purpose driven creatives in Atlanta that our team had the opportunity to attend. The gathering’s strong focus on solving the problems that
Statelessness is a serious issue for many populations in Northern Thailand.
Last month, the world’s attention turned to Northern Thailand, as a difficult and bold rescue operation sought to free a boy’s soccer team that had been trapped in the Tham Luang Cave for over two weeks. After surviving for
A team from Plant With Purpose recently climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
About a month ago, a group from Plant With Purpose took on the challenge of climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The group included Executive Director Scott Sabin and Board Chair Cindy Outlaw, along
Ruta 1 transects the Dominican Republic from north to south. While it is a major road, an hour away from it sit a number of communities that are quiet. Rural. Often overlooked.
Maizal is one of these communities.
Here, you won’t find any banks, any grocery stores, or any major
Environmental degradation rids farming families of their ability to make choices
The connection between people’s freedom and the environment isn’t one made very often. For an overwhelming part of the world’s population, however, the ability to make decisions hinges on the health of their ecosystems.
Freedom is the ability to
Does tourism help or harm local populations? That answer is as varied as the list of places to go and things to do.
Do a couple of quick searches on Google, and you’ll find lots of examples of locals bemoaning instances where tourists have trashed nearby natural spots or
Conflict drove her family from Myanmar into Thailand.
“We walked from our village into a border area, then into Thailand,” Na Kuh recounted to us. “There were two or three families together, with our children. It took us about a week to enter into that border area. While we were
Our homes are no mere coincidence.
How often do you think about the reasons God has placed us in the physical locations where we live? Some of us might think about this quite a bit, especially if we’ve undergone a major transition or if we felt led to our current
Five voices we should listen to as we take action to care for creation.
Good leaders are good listeners.
We don’t always listen like we should.
Noisy conversations online and in the media show that people are anxious to be heard. The demand for good listeners is high, the
What does it look like to come together as one?
Picture a stone church on the top of a small mountain. In front of the church are garden beds, and just outside its entryway is a large patio.
On the patio are a couple dozen chairs arranged in a circle.
Fatherhood is extremely important.
This Father’s Day, we’re taking the time to remember the importance of dads.
Studies make it pretty clear that the presence of a father or father figure plays a big role in a child’s eventual success. Children with involved fathers, stepfathers, or father figures are far
Julius’ farm is one of the most vibrant sites in his village.
The village of Rombo sits high atop of its Tanzanian watershed. In one of the highest parts of Rombo, you’ll find a large farm growing bananas, sugar, cabbage, amongst a variety of other crops. The area surrounding the
In Northern Thailand, ethnic minorities are creating much needed sustainable change by starting right at home.
Life isn’t easy for the hilltribes in Northern Thailand. As ethnic minorities, many of them are subject to various forms of persecution and discrimination. Many of them are refugees and can remember a time
When working with teams that cross different cultures and other boundaries, it’s important to value results, processes, and people.
Plant With Purpose values constant learning and continual improvement. With the goal of learning and improving our internal processes, we recently conducted a staff retreat in Southern California.
One of the
Summer gives us an opportunity to develop and strengthen sustainable habits.
For many of us, this has been a long awaited moment. I’m talking, of course, about the beginning of summer. Whether that means freedom from the demands of a school year, more opportunities to leave your jacket behind at
As a young girl, Carolina pleaded with her father to allow her to go to school.
He had not planned on sending any of his daughters to school. School fees were far too expensive and he believed home was the place for women. Immediate needs dictated life. Barren and unproductive
Plant With Purpose exists to respond to three of the biggest threats that face our planet right now.
Environmental degradation. Poverty. Spiritual despair. These three crises aren’t just concepts, but active threats to the lives and well-being of people all around the world.
These three issues are so deeply connected.
When you think of hubs where entrepreneurs and start-ups are birthed, places like Silicon Valley, Austin, or Manhattan may come to mind. In rural Haiti, however, is a village where new economic opportunities, innovation, and empowerment have enabled a community of entrepreneurs to create better lives for themselves and their
We remember the moms in places where raising children is extremely difficult.
There are some places around the world where motherhood is extremely difficult. In many of the communities where Plant With Purpose works, moms have to overcome poverty, food insecurity, disease, and conflict in order to make life better
Right now is a volatile time for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In February, The Economist issued a magazine cover picturing a Congolese soldier with the headline Heading back to hell: Congo in Peril.
This is a headline nobody wants to see.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
The environmental threats to our Earth demand that we do something and take action!
Every year, the Earth loses enough forest to cover land the same size as the country of Panama. At this rate, it will be less than a century before its forests are gone completely.
Sustainability isn’t a chore, it’s a calling
Future generations will be living the world we shape through our actions. Today, there are many reasons to be concerned.
People all around the world are consume resources that are disproportionate to their population size. A recent study done by Washington State University,
One of the most exciting things that comes with growth for Plant With Purpose is adding new people to the team. Recently, Sophie Casmano joined our team to help strengthen our fundraising efforts. Sophie brings a passion for sustainability and some impressive baking skills to our San Diego office. We
The time to take action is right now
Deforestation is a crisis that isn’t talked about nearly enough
Every second, one and a half acres of forest is cut down.
Half of the world’s tropical forests have already been cleared.
At the rate we’re going, there will be no more
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22, 2018
What better way to celebrate creation than to spend some time deeply immersed in it?
Our desire to worship swells whenever we find ourselves in awe of something beautiful.
After all, God took time to admire the world after creation.
You may have noticed we’ve got a new look.
If you’re reading this post, you are most likely on the new plantwithpurpose.org.
This month, we re-launched our digital home. Our new look is meant to bring you closer to our programs all around the world. We believe strongly in the
Environmental conversations aren’t only about major players.
In most ongoing conversations about the planet’s environmental issues, you’ll frequently hear the names of major actors: The United States Government, the Vatican, the oil industry, and the United Nations. These usually-controversial entities often stir up the debate of what should be given
One of the things that sets apart Plant With Purpose’s work is a commitment to building and developing leaders among locals. Visit any of our international offices and you won’t find any expat staff members. Instead each partnering country has its own autonomous office staffed by nationals.
These offices work
There is no shortage of causes around the world to care about. Every year, thousands of new nonprofit organizations file paperwork to start programs. For people wanting to make an impact, often the problem isn’t finding opportunities to make a difference but choosing one!
The Plant With Purpose team has
When we see people strictly in terms of us-and-them, it becomes extremely easy to turn people into projects. Thinking in terms of “the needy” versus “the rich” is a very common tendency among charitable organizations.
We must not think in terms of haves and have-nots.
Some communities have been recipients
In order to truly help the vulnerable, we must know and understand what their situation is like. These beliefs have led us right into rural locations in developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
These are the places where poverty overwhelmingly exists.
85 percent of the world’s poor live
Like much of the world, Andres relied on land to provide.
Getting to Andres’ farm from any of the Dominican Republic’s main roads takes a series of dusty streets and switchbacks. The closer you get to the farm, the more and more it starts to look like the Garden of
Understanding poverty can be complex
Plant With Purpose strives for a world without poverty, where all people have the opportunity to thrive. That requires understanding the obstacles people face. We are constantly improving our own understanding of poverty to empower individuals and communities.
Thanks to your support, we’ve
When you live off the land, trees are critical.
In order to care for those affected by poverty, it’s important to understand what poverty really looks like. You may envision an overcrowded urban slum. Globally, however, 85 percent of the world’s poor live in rural settings and rely on agriculture to
Lasting transformation doesn’t happen through economic growth or healed environments, but through reconciled relationships with a loving God. To foster spiritual renewal, Plant With Purpose equips local churches to lead spiritual change in their communities.
Plant With Purpose currently partners with over 600 churches, empowering them to disciple
Plant With Purpose invests heavily in savings groups, equipping families with tools needed to manage personal finances, access loans when needed, and save. This pays off. The average Plant With Purpose family is over twice as likely to save. On average, these participants have enough emergency savings to
In 2017, over 39 million people were food insecure, mostly due to environmental damage and natural disasters. Crops, trees, and animals are the top sources of income for rural families that rely on the land for a living. Plant With Purpose sustainable agriculture programs help families living in
Trees are vital, but half of the world’s tropical forests have already disappeared. At the rate we’re going, there will be no more rainforests in under a century. But we have hope. Plant With Purpose is reversing this trend. While the earth loses forest cover, participating communities gain