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Word Forest Honoured as Recipient of NatWest SE100 Award

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It was with great excitement earlier this week that the Word Forest Team received news of the charity’s recognition as a recipient of the prestigious NatWest SE100 Award, an esteemed accolade that has a very high bar for excellence. The award celebrates Word Forest’s exceptional dedication to boosting social and environmental impacts, underscoring its commitment to expanding and protecting Kenya’s canopy cover and empowering women. 

The SE100 is an annual awards programme delivered by Pioneers Post in partnership with NatWest. It exists to throw a spotlight on the Top SE100 (social enterprises) and also presents Social Business Awards in seven different categories. You can find the full Top SE 100 list here.

Word Forest’s MD and co-founder Simon West exclaimed: “Word Forest has an amazing team in the UK and Kenya. Their tireless efforts and innovative initiatives have earned the charity a well-deserved place among the SE100, cementing our status as a leading global force in the fight against deforestation and mitigating our climate emergency.”

The Significance of the Award

The NatWest SE100 Award is widely regarded as a benchmark of excellence in the social enterprise sector. It recognises organisations that combine sustainable business practices with a profound commitment to social impact. By bestowing this honour upon Word Forest, NatWest acknowledges its extraordinary dedication to environmental conservation and community development. This recognition will undoubtedly raise the profile of Word Forest and amplify its mission to a wider audience.

Word Forest’s Remarkable Achievements

Living on the frontline of global heating in Kenya presents countless challenges for humans and wildlife. To help carve an easier route through them and to mitigate desertification and rising temperatures, Word Forest has planted over 1 million trees and delivered over 100,000 hours of education, predominantly to disenfranchised women. Empowering them with vital knowledge on sustainability and the environment, has proven to be a powerful tool to evoke positive change locally and globally. The building of cool solid stone classrooms at a number of schools and the enrollment of the students in the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya is also providing better opportunities for learning for the next generations.

Inspiring Ideas in Action

Word Forest facilitates a diverse range of pioneering programs. Taking its women’s empowerment initiatives alone, the work spans multiple domains and addresses both environmental and social issues. With a unique and holistic approach, it fosters practices such as permaculture, syntropic agroforestry and indigenous tree care, nurturing local talent and inspiring individuals to take an active role in protecting their natural surroundings. The NatWest SE100 Award validates the effectiveness and innovation of these initiatives, providing a strong endorsement of this multi-layered positive impact.

Collaborative Partnerships and Future Prospects

CEO and co-founder Tracey West comments: “I believe achievements like this are only possible when you apply an equitable and collaborative approach. By forging partnerships with communities, businesses and officials, we’ve created a network of support that amplifies our efforts. The recognition from the award will further enhance our credibility. As we step closer to becoming an accredited body to issue carbon offsets, I hope it will also attract more strategic alliances and funding opportunities. This will enable us to scale up our operations and make an even greater impact on the environment and society.

Simon concludes: “Awards are great but it’s back to business as usual for us, working relentlessly towards our vision of a safer future for all. When you plant trees that grow up to ten times faster than anywhere else on the planet, the job is made far simpler. If our mission resonates with you, get in touch to join our growing roster of green-minded partners, helping to reduce global weather extremes and preserve a planet we can all do business on.

We’d like to thank our supporters, partners and volunteers for coming with us on this exciting journey and share this exciting moment with all of you. Asante sana!

The (utterly thrilled) Team

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