Six months ago the Wings of Kilimanjaro expedition put 95 climbers on the summit of Kilimanjaro and in the process raised over $550,000 for environmental restoration, clean water and education in Tanzania. Plant With Purpose received just over $165,000 as a result of this effort. (Fundraising efforts are continuing and you can learn more or make a donation here.) It was an amazing adventure that continues to have a lasting impact on people’s lives. Below are a few of the highlights of how Plant With Purpose has used these funds:
1. Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) – We have started 24 new VSLA groups with a total of 473 new VSLA members. 73% of these members are women. These groups provide a platform for farmers to save money and make it available for loans to start small businesses. As a result of being in a group, families are able to save money to pay for school fees, pay for emergencies and in general live with a much greater level of security.
Village Community Banking
2. Farmer Field Schools: 43 schools involving 1,075 farmers. Farmer Field Schools are literally outdoor classrooms and laboratories, where farmers can learn about and test new crops, organic methods of pest control, fertilizers and water conservation techniques. By actively being involved in learning, farmers are much more likely to implement these new techniques on their own farms: “I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.”
In Farmer Field Schools, farmers lean by doing
3. Trees Planted: 784,095 – Trees provide income for families in the form of fruit and wood products. Trees also conserve soil and water, which raises crop yields while at the same time restoring the environment.
4. Stoves Built: 130 – Each stove reduces wood use by 60%, reducing deforestation and smoke inhalation, dramatically improving the health of women and children involved in cooking.
5. Number of Group Members with Vegetable Gardens – 546. Vegetable gardens are incredibly important for improving the health and nutrition of children and their families. According to the latest stats released by the World Food Program, 38.8% of Tanzanians are malnourished. In children, this malnourishment causes irreversible loss of brain function and reduced ability to learn and other chronic health problems. It doesn’t have to be this way!
Tanzania has plenty of land to grow food and farmers are anxious to work hard. Thanks to the support provided by Wings of Kilimanjaro, this child and thousands like him will have hope for a better future.