R & A Opening Address: Tracey West CEO and Fundraiser

Listen to this article.

We are delighted to bring you the first episode in a serialisation of articles that comprise the Word Forest Report and Accounts for 2022-23.

There are 12 pieces in total and new episodes will be released every Tuesday for the next 3 months. 

They’ve been written by our Team in the UK and Kenya. We’ve also got a few powerful pieces from our Patron, Clare Nasir and our Special Scientific Advisor Professor Bill McGuire and from Dominc Hurndall from Oaklin, one of our Corporate Partners. 

We believe you’ll find them to be enlightening pieces that deliver heartwarming updates on our projects and shocking facts about the state of our climate emergency. 

Collectively, they play a vital role in bringing you up to speed with what’s happening on the frontline of climate change in Kenya and showing the positive impact we’re having across the world in an engaging and exciting way.

The inaugural episode comes from Tracey West, Word Forest’s CEO and co-founder. 

If you’re new to Word Forest, thanks for popping by to dive into this year’s Report and Accounts.

If you’re familiar with this kind of Report and you’re already preparing to yawn, I promise you, ours is unlike anything you’ll have seen before. 

We’re about to give you a deeply informative experience, demonstrating the positive impact Word Forest is having across Kenya and to the planet, without you having to get up from your chair.

Sure, we’ve got numbers to present to you. Yes, we’ve got information gathered by our colleagues showing our physical achievements over the past 12 months, i.e. another classroom built here, some more trees planted there, and so on.

I’m confident that by the time you get to the end of this document, you’ll feel better informed but I hope you’ll also feel mentally and spiritually uplifted, more environmentally engaged, more empowered to make changes at home and inspired to carry those ideas into your workplace. 

I also hope you feel less eco-anxious than you felt before, because we’ve shone a light on how easy it is to make a difference to our world. 

I must be honest, once you’ve digested the facts laid out by our Patron, Met Office Meteorologist Clare Nasir and our Special Scientific Advisor, Professor Bill McGuire, you’ll realise how important your engagement is.

Above all, I hope you’ll be able to take another look at what your understanding is of the incredible work we’ve been doing across Kenya for the last 7 years. I want you to know precisely what your donations and partnerships have enabled us to do. 

You are the drivers. We are the conduit that moves your energy (be it volunteer hours, financial donations or pro bono offers) from one place to another, for the betterment of our planet and every living breathing thing on it.

The Third Sector has witnessed more adversity in respect of fundraising and continuity of service in recent years, than it has done since the second World War. 

Thanks to your support, Word Forest has been able to pull metaphorical rabbits out of hats and cats out of bags. We’re full of gratitude and we’re happy to pause a while to celebrate  what we’ve achieved together – thank you!

As we say in our documentary narrated by Kate Winslet, #TreesAreTheKey to doing so much more than mitigating our climate emergency.  In case you haven’t seen it yet, click here and pop it on your watch list!

It might be a few years old but you’ll certainly get a great feel for who we work with, what we do and why we do it. Above all, I’m confident you’ll get that feel good factor that I get every time I watch it too.

So, it’s time to fasten your seat belt and dive into the rest of our report. Believe me, it would have been bulging with additional articles and interviews if I’d had my way, but that would have made it more of a book than a report! We’ve decided to pop the extra features into our news feed instead.

If you’re a fan of positive environmental articles and you’re keen to learn more about how you can make more sustainable living choices at home and at work, click here to subscribe to our news feed and you’ll be among the first to know.

Word Forest has hit some major milestones recently and we are doing well – as Eva says, “We’re getting there pole, pole” (that’s Kiswahili for slowly). I would be kidding myself if I said the future was all plain sailing, it isn’t. We’ve set ourselves some high bars to leap over in the year ahead, particularly with our ambition to enter the carbon offset market. Our activities during the first quarter of 2023 show that we are on the right track and we have a terrific guide to get us through the challenges.

Our Corporate Partners, Oaklin Consulting are with us every step of the way. They know the quality of the environmental, educational and humanitarian services we’ve been providing our donors, partners and beneficiaries with, from day one. We’re going to offer permaculture lessons at our PTC (Permaculture Teaching Centre) in Garashi. That knowledge has the power to strengthen the resilience of the tree planting communities, exponentially, because they’ll know how to diversify what they’re growing and eating too.

I’m going to have to cut myself off here, or I’m going to end up going down another exciting rabbit hole and telling you all about the great updates we’ve got planned for our news feed. 

If you’ll excuse me, it’s time to hand the baton on to the rest of our phenomenal team.

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