How to Stay Sane While Living Sustainably

How to Stay Sane While Living Sustainably

Four important things to remember
Start Small
Living sustainably does not have to happen over night. There is no need to overhaul your whole life in one big sweep.
Start small and work up. You do not need to phase out plastics completely, if that does not suit your lifestyle

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Not Just Fruit, but a Future

Not Just Fruit, but a Future

Finding Hope and a Future
In a country long ridden with war and conflict, people are looking for change and hope. Due to this, communities in Burundi have come together to promote peace, growth, and empowerment. Many of these communities have partnered with Plant With Purpose. Now one of our

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EarthX: Changing lives from Dallas to the DRC

EarthX: Changing lives from Dallas to the DRC

Plant With Purpose and EarthX were Earth Week partners.
EarthX is an environmental forum where citizens, educators, business leaders, students, nonprofits, and leaders can take action towards a more sustainable future by exploring a variety of solutions. Plant With Purpose came for the second year in a row, connecting with

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Earth Day celebrates a chance to love your neighbor

Earth Day celebrates a chance to love your neighbor

One of our greatest purposes is to love our neighbor as ourselves
Many of us are familiar with the two greatest commandments, as found in Matthew 22:

To love God with all our hearts, minds, and strength, and,
To love our neighbor as ourselves

While each of us

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Why is it sometimes difficult to take action that helps the planet

Why is it sometimes difficult to take action that helps the planet

We’re constantly in the process of encouraging people to serve our global neighbors by caring for the environment. We’ll be honest, however. Sometimes it can be difficult to see where to get started. There are so many possible choices, but how do you get started? Perhaps you’ve gone from never

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This Earth Day, help restore Creation

This Earth Day, help restore Creation

The Wonder of Creation is still good.
The Story of Creation goes something like this:
God made beautiful things. He appreciated and admired them, and called them good.
We messed up. We invited sin, degradation, death, and disease to enter the picture.
Out of Love, Christ came. His death and

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It started with a single cow

It started with a single cow

Sayumi’s story started with her farm and a single cow.
Sayumi’s life wasn’t easy. It was simple, but she had to work exceedingly hard just to survive.
She tended her family’s farm every single day, which provided them just enough to get by. Still, her family’s life was full of uncertainty.

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Step into a savings group meeting

Step into a savings group meeting

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

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Remember the Wonder of Creation

Remember the Wonder of Creation

God created the earth and declared it good.
And it truly is good.
If you’ve ever found yourself amazed by the beauty of a National Forest, reenergized by a weekend spent hiking, or surprised by how intricately the human body is designed, it’s hard to disagree.
That’s not to say

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Three years ago, we launched in Northern California and Texas

Three years ago, we launched in Northern California and Texas

This spring marks the three year anniversary of Plant With Purpose hubs in Northern California and Texas.
After seeing lots of enthusiasm from supporters and donors in that region, Plant With Purpose decided to open two fundraising hubs. The goal was to work more closely with these supporting donors, churches,

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We Were The Ones Who Forgot

We Were The Ones Who Forgot

For Isaya, poverty took many forms
Isaya lives in Tanzania, where he and his neighbors once lived in poverty. They didn’t just lack money, however. They also lacked trees, enthusiasm, and the awareness of how to improve their situation.
The barrenness of the land around him left Isaya concerned about

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God’s Trail of Trees

God’s Trail of Trees

Plant With Purpose is eagerly looking forward to the upcoming book release from our friend Matthew Sleeth. Matthew is a medical doctor who came to faith partly through noticing how trees constantly resurfaced in Scripture and in our world. His book Reforesting Faith will arrive in bookstores later next month. Enjoy an

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Not Condemned to be Poor

Not Condemned to be Poor

A changed heart is the first step towards renewal
One of the biggest things that determines what we can accomplish is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. A big part of Plant With Purpose’s program is to replace false narratives that our participants have come to believe with the

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The Rombo Report

The Rombo Report

Rombo isn’t an easy place to get to. You’ll need to drive for quite some time on the remote roads of Tanzania. In terms of distance, it isn’t too far from Mt. Kilimanjaro, a frequently visited and easily accessible spot. But getting from the city areas to the village of

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Getting around while going green

Getting around while going green

You’ve probably already heard about the impact transportation has on the environment. You’ve probably also heard suggestions of ways you can reduce your own ecological footprint. We’re going to revisit a few of those options, while also looking at some of the other benefits you might not have considered.
Pedal

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How layered agroforestry can help millions

How layered agroforestry can help millions

In order to help people, Plant With Purpose plants trees!
That’s the short version of why we exist. The longer version of that is, well, much more nuanced. The way we plant trees is just as important as the fact that we plant them. We encourage and empower locals to

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A worthy investment

A worthy investment

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

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She won’t be kept down

She won’t be kept down

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.
Then,

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The wisdom of Jah Cho

The wisdom of Jah Cho

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

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Four Simple, Sustainable Switches

Four Simple, Sustainable Switches

It’s a new year and a perfect time to take on some new habits. Habits that help us live more sustainably don’t just help us, in the long run, they help everybody. A complete overhaul of your lifestyle isn’t easy- and usually isn’t lasting. Taking a few key steps towards

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What you need to know about Ethiopia’s environment

What you need to know about Ethiopia’s environment

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

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Celebrating the Old and New

Celebrating the Old and New

Welcome to 2019! It’s an excellent time to both look back and look ahead at the many things worth celebrating and anticipating. Last year was one of our strongest yet- we are planting more trees, working in more communities, and putting more of your generosity to good use than ever

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The Struggles & Successes of Ms. Christina

The Struggles & Successes of Ms. Christina

Christina knows the challenges of rural living
Christina lives in the village of Siha, on the western slope of Mount Kilimanjaro. Though she is close to the mountain, it can be difficult to get to her village. The steep slopes and unpaved roads demand a cautious drive away from the

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Trees give shade, Shade gives trees

Trees give shade, Shade gives trees

Plant With Purpose has had the privilege of collaborating with many unique corporate partners over the years. The wide variety of corporate partners has reminded us that sustainability is for everybody. This month, we’re happy to feature one of our long-time, creative corporate partners as our Supporter of the Month. If

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How to sustainably put up a Christmas tree

How to sustainably put up a Christmas tree

Christmas fast approaches! If you’ve got plans to put up a tree this year but haven’t done so already, it might be just the right time to get a plan in place. Figuring out how to sustainably select a Christmas tree can be a little confusing at first. After all,

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The Pride of Aleaulwa

The Pride of Aleaulwa

Poverty is a serious threat to many families
Millions of families around the world live in poverty, but their hopes are pretty similar to the hopes of most other families. Parents want to be able to put their kids through school to get a strong education. Children hope to grow

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This is what gratitude looks like

This is what gratitude looks like

At the end of each year, many of us try to turn our focus towards gratitude. We reflect on what really matters in our lives. We take inventory of blessings. We go around the table at Thanksgiving to share what we are thankful for, then reinforce our gratitude in family

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Here’s what families hope for in Tanzania

Here’s what families hope for in Tanzania

35,958.
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

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Grateful and sustainable: keys to a sustainable holiday

Grateful and sustainable: keys to a sustainable holiday

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

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To the ones who keep showing up

To the ones who keep showing up

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

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Eat more sustainably. Eat every part.

Eat more sustainably. Eat every part.

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

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What is silvopasture and why does it matter?

What is silvopasture and why does it matter?

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

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We can’t forget to celebrate hope

We can’t forget to celebrate hope

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.

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Saving the evangelists with wings

Saving the evangelists with wings

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

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“You have a beautiful home”

“You have a beautiful home”

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

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Hope in a Weary Land

Hope in a Weary Land

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

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Nurserymen understand the need for trees

Nurserymen understand the need for trees

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

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Why a better floor indicates a better future

Why a better floor indicates a better future

A typical decision made by rural families:
Imagine this scenario: You are a parent living in rural Burundi. For years you’ve struggled to earn an income of about 80 cents a day. With five children to feed, things have never been easy.
Lately, however, things have started to look a

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Strong people in a vulnerable land

Strong people in a vulnerable land

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.
As

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Sustainability is compassion

Sustainability is compassion

When we live sustainably, we live compassionately.
Sustainability is both and act of selflessness and humility. When we choose to practice sustainability, we do so realizing that the things we do affect far more people than ourselves. It invites us to consider our own interests less than the interests of

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Statelessness, Status, and Solutions: A unique challenge in Thailand

Statelessness, Status, and Solutions: A unique challenge in Thailand

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

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The climb up Kilimanjaro and out of poverty

The climb up Kilimanjaro and out of poverty

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

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What is environmental freedom?

What is environmental freedom?

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

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How to support local communities while traveling

How to support local communities while traveling

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

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From Myanmar to her own backyard, Na Kuh creates change

From Myanmar to her own backyard, Na Kuh creates change

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

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There’s a reason God placed us right where we are.

There’s a reason God placed us right where we are.

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

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Harambe! Harambe!

Harambe! Harambe!

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.

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How a healthy environment can keep fathers with their families

How a healthy environment can keep fathers with their families

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

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For Julius, sustainability protects a family legacy

For Julius, sustainability protects a family legacy

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

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For these hilltribes, change begins in the backyard

For these hilltribes, change begins in the backyard

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

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Results, processes, people: All of it matters

Results, processes, people: All of it matters

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

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Keys to a sustainable summer

Keys to a sustainable summer

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

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Carolina and the courage to dream

Carolina and the courage to dream

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

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Rising up to face the three big threats

Rising up to face the three big threats

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.

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Celebrating the moms who have it the hardest

Celebrating the moms who have it the hardest

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

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Time to do something

Time to do something

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.
The needs

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The people behind the purpose: Sophie

The people behind the purpose: Sophie

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

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The Earth Can’t Wait

The Earth Can’t Wait

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

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The WHY behind our website

The WHY behind our website

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

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The world’s poorest communities dispel a major myth about the environment

The world’s poorest communities dispel a major myth about the environment

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

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Let the locals lead

Let the locals lead

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

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Address root causes

Address root causes

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

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There is no us versus them

There is no us versus them

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

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Why we work in rural areas

Why we work in rural areas

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

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Sustainability means giving beyond our own lives

Sustainability means giving beyond our own lives

Jah Cho has seen how hard life can be.
In Northern Thailand you’ll find dozens of small villages where several ethnic minorities live. Many tribal groups have never been granted national citizenship. Many have faced persecution from the state. It isn’t uncommon to find older adults willing to talk about

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Farms, Food, and Family: Khamsee’s Transformation

Farms, Food, and Family: Khamsee’s Transformation

For years Khamsee was unable to put food on the table.
Much of Thailand has grown internationally familiar as the country has boomed as a tourist hot spot in recent years. Cities like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai see the bulk of visitors. Many of the country’s rural areas, however,

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Global change requires empowering locals

Global change requires empowering locals

Solutions that really last are the ones driven by locals.
When people are full-fledged participants in the process, lasting change begins. There are many cases where an organization or think-tank enters a village with a technology-driven innovation that seems guaranteed to eradicate disease, prevent droughts, or halt poverty. The local

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One of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet

One of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet

Emma provides the world with a valuable crop – coffee.
As a farmer in Tanzania, she produces between 300,000 and 400,000 vegetables each week. Emma works extremely hard, digging trenches and harvesting her crops by hand. Chief among her crops is one that millions of people around the world find

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Violence disrupted her family; now she’s fighting it by the roots

Violence disrupted her family; now she’s fighting it by the roots

Violence plagued the village of Poblete, and disrupted Juana’s family.
Juana, her husband, and their three children lived in Poblete, located in one of Mexico’s poorest areas which suffered from widespread violence. For years, the village experienced tension and crime. When environmental damage caused its farms to produce less food,

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When trees go up, poverty comes down

When trees go up, poverty comes down

Without trees, the rural poor are often stuck in a cycle of poverty and environmental loss.
The conditions of poverty create a strain on land, and exhausted land threatens the livelihood of the farmers who live there.
This was a scenario that challenged Eleuterio, a seed producer in Coatecas Altas,

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The earthquake that changed everything and nothing

The earthquake that changed everything and nothing

Plant With Purpose committed to showing up.
Few events stand out in the memory of Plant With Purpose’s executive director Scott Sabin like the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. As news broke on that Monday in early January, the organization had to quickly figure out how to respond to an

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Empowerment writes a different story in the hills of Haiti

Empowerment writes a different story in the hills of Haiti

Good intentions often produce harmful results in Haiti. 
Haiti is a hot spot for charity organizations and well-intentioned people wanting to help. The country is often recognized by its poverty as the poorest in the Western Hemisphere and the victim of natural disasters. Unfortunately, the presence of these good intentions

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Putting the world’s biggest problems in reverse

Putting the world’s biggest problems in reverse

Poverty and deforestation are harsh on vulnerable populations.
For generations, the community of La Joya in the Dominican Republic relied on farming. Good production of coffee and graperfuit allowed pig and cattle farmers to produce enough for their families and people. This all started to change as deforestation began and

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