What exactly does Trees For Kenya do?
Trees For Kenya is a Kenyan non-governmental organization that plants as well as manages native trees with their tree nurseries. The uniqueness can be found in their partnership brand. They create seamless partnerships that put their partner objects first. In it, they work with vulnerable communities – Community Forest Associations and Kenya Forest Service – to identify degraded forests in need of reforestation. On community farms, they support farmers to plant trees for firewood, timber, nitrogen balance, soil improvement, fruits, fodder and general agroforestry trees. In addition, their organization works with schools in their tree planting efforts.
Why did we choose to work with Trees For Kenya?
This organization restores ecosystems with a diverse collection of so-called native trees. These are trees that naturally occur in the areas in which the trees are planted. Many tree planting projects plant the wrong kind of tree or just one kind of tree, which in turn leads to a monoculture that has zero positive impact on the biodiversity in that area. In addition, it is often at the expense of the soil used by poor farming families. Trees For Kenya takes into account various aspects to counter this.
To ensure that we invest in the right tree planting project (and in the future: multiple projects!), we have drawn up three requirements:
1. Personal contact is key.
Founder Roel has lived in Kenya for a year and knows the community on a personal level. The collaboration arose from mutual trust and the shared mission to help restore nature. Once in a while, we also visit the community to connect and help. Due to Corona, traveling is difficult, so we are being kept up-to-date through photos and videos.
2. The right type of trees
As mentioned above, it often happens that the wrong trees are planted within a tree planting project, or just one type of tree, which leads to an increasing monoculture and declining biodiversity. Exactly what we don't want! Trees For Kenya only plants native trees, which are trees that naturally occur in the area. These trees have a positive effect on the animals, plants, soil and overall biodiversity in the area.
3. Invest fairly (or don’t invest at all!)
We plant a tree for each notebook sold. Part of the (paid) amount goes to the to-be-tree plant itself, but the largest part goes to the employee's wages. The trees don't just appear in the ground by themselves! It requires time, energy and labor. Unfortunately, this is often forgotten (or it is supposedly not important), which means that workers receive little or no payment. At Trees For Kenya this is not the case and every worker is paid fairly.