Tree Sisters: Manifesting Miracles in Madagascar

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by Claire Dakin

ONE is proud to partner with Tree Sisters. Their work in reforestation is one of the truest ways we can bring healing to our planet. The following post by their visionary founder gives a glimpse of their latest efforts.

It’s not every day that you hear a story that makes you weep – and simultaneously know that you have the chance to make a major difference within that story. Yesterday was one such day.

While hunting  for four new reforestation partners for next year, when we launch the first major tree campaign – I was introduced to Eden Reforestation and Steve their founder who is part man, part mountain in my world. Unstoppable. Brilliant and I just love him.

Eden is massive in reforestation – soon to plant their 100 millionth tree – and massive in social and ecological healing because when it’s done right the two just go together. Eden does it right.

They work in Haiti (their hardest for many reasons), Madagascar (their most successful), Nepal – just started, sounds incredible (but is outside tropical zone for us….DARN!) and they did huge work in Ethiopia, but just pulled out to make a stand about their treatment of women (Thank you:-) and will go back in when they have a local woman in charge.

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In Madagascar whole villages are enslaved to the fish barons – boat and net owners who loan out their vessels for a specific yield, which if not met places their fishers in debt – permanently. Enslavement comes with its various horrors, including giving children into slavery and god knows what else for the women.

Eden goes in, works with the community and starts to employ them to grow and plant saplings on village land – very large tracts of land. Well over 50% of their workers are women (60-70%) who get out of debt – get their kids into school and many start their own micro-enterprises as well – all the while tending the saplings that become huge community forests – that they are also paid to protect. How many reforestation organizations can also say that they turn the enslaved into the foresters of our world? Whole villages at a time.

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MadagascarWoman

Steve has sat in a hut with furious fish barons, local police and quite a few guns waiting for justice to fall on Eden’s side – which it has. They get to do their work. Almost 80 million trees out of just 5 nurseries and almost 800,000 days of paid work for the villagers. Please join me in bowing to a hero and then help us build the infrastructure needed to be able to get TreeSisters to scale and add our collective weight to Eden.

I want TreeSisters to adopt a village – and then another and then another. We could do it with 500 women giving £10/$15/month – that’s all.

Imagine what 100,000 of us could do?

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When we launch the new web site next year, it’ll be with a huge tree campaign to engage enough new donors to fund £25,000 worth of trees every month through five new tropical beneficiaries. We will give 100% of everything raised and keep it restricted only for trees from there on in – month by month, year by year and simply build from there. We just need the web site and the films to do it – and that is why we have our IndieGogo campaign this month and why we need all of you to help us by donating as much as you can to build the foundations of what is going to be a powerful engine of change.

Next year – you could be funding an astonishing portfolio of projects like Eden through TreeSisters, and wake up every day knowing that the air is healthier, forests are replenishing soils, water tables, streams and rivers – that certain children are now free and fed, certain men and women are not enslaved either to debt or aching poverty – that earth is no longer bleeding into the sea, fish are spawning in the mangroves, thousands of species are returning to lands that can thrive again – because you care enough to make that happen.

We don’t have to imagine. We just need to make it happen.

Please step in. Thank you:-) www.growtreesisters.com

Clare Dakin is TreeSisters Founder and CEO. She lives between Gloucester MA in the US and Bristol UK