In some ways it still feels like we just celebrated a new year, but then you realize: it’s halfway over. Time goes by like that sometimes, especially when you’re engaged in deep and immersive work. Right now is a good time to celebrate the work you’ve made possible for Plant With Purpose over the past year.
You helped bring hope to one of Africa’s most deforested countries.
This year, you helped Plant With Purpose open it’s office in the Ethiopian highlands. It is our first new country partner since 2015 and one we can’t wait to get to explore further.
From above, Ethiopia has small patches of green amidst brown dirt lands. Those spaces are church forests, where the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has kept a tradition of protecting the forest. They are small compared to the large desert space that makes up most of the total land area, but they show us what the land could be restored to.
Your help is vital in helping connect these patches, increasing the total forest area around Ethiopia, and ultimately helping replenish the land.
Doing so has great potential to combat some of the countries most pressing challenges, including widespread hunger and poverty.
Already you’ve enabled four community groups to begin working, and this is just the beginning!
You helped plant a milestone tree.
Sometime in early 2019, Plant With Purpose planted its 30 millionth tree since it’s inception.
This tree, and the 29,999,999 before it have all been vital in a proven strategy to help fight the effects of poverty and deforestation.
“The environment directly affects the lives of the poor,” says Luis Alberto Castellanos, director of Plant With Purpose’s Mexico program.
Luis works in the two poorest states in Mexico, and sees that they are the ones hit hardest by environmental problems. Oaxaca and Chiapas are two of the most prone to famine and drought.
If this makes environmental issues seem even more harsh or urgent, it’s because they are. It has the earliest and most devastating impact on people who already live some of the hardest lives. Environmental issues are justice issues.
You’ve helped bring together leaders from across the world.
The past year has been our biggest year for growth in a number of ways, including financial growth. This means being able to invest more into our local leaders who bring environmental innovations into their home countries.
This spring, leaders from across Plant With Purpose’s partnering programs gathered in San Diego for the first time since 2014.
The time together resulted in information sharing, learning from each others experiences, and strategic planning for the next few years. The time ahead will be vital for the survival of many forests in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.
Being able to invest in our partners has been a proven way to constantly strengthen our efforts. As a result, farmers plant more trees, communities start new savings groups, and people receive inspiration to restore God’s creation.
All this is to say thank you! To see a recap of how your support helped change lives in the previous year, take a look at our annual report.