We are an environmental and education charity based in the UK that works to combat the devastating effects of global warming and climate change by planting fast growing trees in the tropics, predominantly food bearing. To assist the communities that help us, we also support women’s empowerment, build classrooms and facilitate education. We raise environmental awareness and plant trees in the UK too.
The journey began in 2012 when Simon and Tracey West planted a wedding forest in Bore, Kenya under the guidance of a forestry expert that had been working in Coast Province for a number of years. Between 2012 and 2017, realising the need for humanitarian help they became fundraisers, raising money to build a classroom for the Bore community.
The charity was formed in April 2017 with the knowledge that the wellbeing of the planet and the wellbeing of the tree planting communities were intrinsically linked. The charity objects being to promote sustainable development with the preservation, conservation and the protection of the environment and the prudent use of resources. To also include the relief of poverty and the improvement of the conditions of life in socially and economically disadvantaged communities.
Plant Trees – in Kenya trees grow up to 10 times faster than anywhere else on the planet, helping to mitigate climate change at a pace. In a short number of years just 1 tree will absorb ¼ tonne of carbon and other pollutants from the atmosphere. Trees clean the air we all breathe. manufacture precious oxygen, allow biodiversity to flourish, help alleviate hunger, and give new habitat for wildlife. #TreesAreTheKey to healing our world.
Women’s Empowerment – the women’s empowerment group The Mothers of The Forest was formed on the International Day of Forests, 21st March 2018 to combat social isolation, give access to education, and help reduce hunger. The women are now rewriting their future and underpinning it with education. They’ve been given, and planted many thousands of fruit, nut and medicine trees and continue to strengthen their framework of support. As the African proverb says ‘if you educate a woman, you educate a whole community’ – we wish to give countless more women this opportunity.
Build Classrooms – we’ve been working with unsupported schools to replace their often precarious, wood-framed mud huts with safe, solid stone, cool classrooms since April 2017. The reduction in temperature combined with more comfort and an improved ability to hear the lesson, makes an enormous difference to pupil attendance, enjoyment, knowledge retention and ultimately grades – a 14% increase at one of the schools. With every classroom built we plant 4,000 trees on the school compound or very nearby. This delivers multilayered understanding, as everyone is able to observe biodiversity flourish, as they learn how to care for and harvest crops from their fruit, nut and medicine trees.
Facilitate Education – education, and a raft of supportive measures have made an immeasurable difference to the communities we work with in Boré. Through local teachers and our own Kenyan facilitators we help to explain how our ecosystems are influenced by negative human behaviour and how communities can help end deforestation while learning to become more resilient to the effects of climate change. Courses including literacy and numeracy, tree planting, permaculture, charcoal burning and agro forestry are essential if the people of Kenya are to be prepared for the difficult times that lie ahead.