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Trees For the future

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Planting trees, changing lives

In 2008, we became actively involved in a charity called Trees for the Future (TFTF). This organization is focused on helping the developing world by working with rural communities to plant trees, enabling them to restore their environment, grow more food, and build a sustainable future.

Trees for the Future is dedicated to improving impoverished areas in environmental distress. Over 113 million trees have been planted with tens of thousands of farmers in over two dozen countries since 1989. Despite their huge accomplishments, 2014 was a year of reflection and change for the charity, and TFTF invested heavily in gathering all available expertise and experience in order to refine their holistic forest garden program. Because of these improvements, farmers receive more focused support for longer, increasing their opportunities for a stable livelihood. The Forest Garden campaigns follow a 4-year model, using a phased approach in order to maximize and sustain a successful future for farmers. This process is implemented in four effective steps; Mobilization, Graduation, Revitalization, and Diversification.

In 2014, TFTF evaluated its efforts in light of the Forest Garden program. As the new program maximizes impact by working with larger groups of farmers for longer periods of time, they are focusing on the countries most in need. However, they are ensuring the future sustainability and success of other countries by providing farmers with the training and tools they need to succeed as independent communities. In Brazil, TFTF helped founder Fernanda Peixoto grow the local organization Arvores Para o Futuro for many years; it recently received official NGO recognition from the government, which will enable and assist them with their continued work on tree planting projects far into the future.

Throughout 2015 and beyond, TFTF will focus on work in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mali, and Senegal. In Cameroon, for example, TFTF is working with farmers from over 40 communities to establish Forest Garden Systems on over 300 acres of land where they can produce vital crops and marketable products. The effects of this work are already becoming apparent; in 2014, the Cameroon government designated the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary as fully protected, in part because the adjacent communities have shown that they have viable livelihood opportunities that reduce pressure on the forests and watersheds in the area.

Comment from Standard Brand MD

“ZIP™ brings warmth and comfort to many thousands of homes every year. There are many people in under-developed areas of the world who are struggling for the very basic requirements of food and shelter. In our busy lives, it is easy to forget how fortunate we are, and that it is our duty to help those who are not as fortunate.

The passion, enthusiasm, and dedication that TFTF shows is an inspiration to all of us and we are proud to support the work that they are doing.”

Terry Coates,
Managing Director,
Standard Brands

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