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The Fresh Faces of Spring Interns


Written by Plant With Purpose on January 19, 2017 in General

For Blog

With winter fading and spring on the horizon, the Plant With Purpose HQ is bustling with a few new, fresh faces. These four interns come to us equipped with a variety of real-world experience, an eagerness to learn through their various disciplines, and an enthusiasm to contribute to Plant With Purpose’s impactful work. We are thrilled to have them joining our team for the next few months. Read on to learn about their motivations for interning with Plant With Purpose!


 

MEGHAN SWARTZ – MARKETING AND OUTREACH

As a journalism major in college and a reporter after graduation, I discovered that while I loved writing, I wanted to take on a role in which I could advocate for a cause—specifically, one that recognized and empowered the people whom it wished to help.

A year later, I got the opportunity I’d been waiting for. I recently moved from Chicago to San Diego for my husband’s job after getting married in December, just in time for the start of Plant With Purpose’s spring internship program. I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to tell the stories of those participating in Plant With Purpose’s programs around the world as the Communications Intern. I believe that their stories of challenge, restoration, and hope need to be told, and I am honored to help tell them.

When not at Plant With Purpose or unpacking boxes, I’m looking forward to exploring southern California with my husband, finding as many cute coffee shops as possible, and working on my very rusty rock climbing skills!
 

ERIN DEVRIES – GRAPHIC DESIGN

I am so excited to be the spring 2017 Graphic Design intern at Plant With Purpose! When I found out about Plant With Purpose, I was blown away by their mission and the work they do to improve people’s lives, communities, and the environment. My whole life I’ve been committed to helping people and the environment and doing my part to make the world a better place. I believe we should help those who are less fortunate than ourselves, and I firmly believe in the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

As a graphic designer, I hope to help Plant With Purpose in any way I can to support the organization, from designing letterhead or fundraising gala invitations, to creating infographics to make it easier for the public to understand the program.

I’m a southern California native, with a family background extending all over the world: Austria, Germany, Canada, and Mexico. I enjoy genealogy and studying my family heritage, as well as studying all human culture from ancient times to today. I’m a huge animal lover and have always had several pets at any given time. I love spending time in nature to observe the natural beauty and allowing it to inspire me. Plant With Purpose’s goals align closely with my own, and I’m very grateful to play a part in their work.
 

ANNIE REISWIG – GRANT WRITING

Hello, I’m Annie Reiswig and I will be serving as the grant writing intern this spring. I recently graduated from Miami University (Ohio) as a student-athlete with a double major in Anthropology and Sustainability. My love for the environment and my desire to help people has
led me to seek out working with nonprofits like Plant With Purpose.

I grew up in Northern California, near Lake Tahoe, where I became enamored with the outdoors at an early age. I enjoy hiking, skiing, and playing beach volleyball. I have been passionate about protecting our environment since 5th grade when a nonprofit organization came into my class, spoke to us about the small things we could do to save our planet, and handed out water- saving shower heads and energy-saving lightbulbs.

For my senior capstone class at Miami I was a part of a grant writing team that focused on innovative ways to combat malaria in Zambia. The experience helped guide my decision to pursue grant writing as a platform to help people and our planet. With this internship I am eager to learn more about sustainable development and environmental restoration, as well as learn everything there is to know about working as a grant writer for a nonprofit organization.
 

KEN OKURA – FINANCE

Hello! I’m Ken and I’m currently a senior at the University of San Diego, graduating this spring with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. This spring I’ll be serving as the finance intern at Plant With Purpose and working alongside the Finance Assistant and Director of Finance and Administration to assist in financial management for the organization.

Highly engaged in physical activity, I enjoy just about any sport, from soccer to golf and snowboarding to rock climbing. You name the sport, I’ll try it! Recently, I have been intrigued by photography and enjoy spending my free time exploring in nature while snapping photos of my surroundings.

I look forward to blending my love of nature and finance at Plant With Purpose this spring.

Join us in welcoming our new interns! 

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Haiti Then, Haiti Now


Written by Plant With Purpose on January 12, 2017 in General, Haiti

January 12 is a day when Haiti is on the forefront of our minds. On this day in 2010 a terrible earthquake shook the country, destroying weak infrastructure, and killing thousands. In the months that followed, cholera took many more lives. The country has slowly recovered with little evidence of the massive piles of the rubble that years ago had taken over the capital city of Port-au-Prince. With steps being made, a setback once again hit this Caribbean country this time in the form of Hurricane Matthew. Plant With Purpose was posed to engage in recovery efforts which we are excited to report on below.


 

News outlets have moved on, urgency is fading, but Haiti still has a long road to recover from Hurricane Matthew’s devastation. While families are safe from the immediate threat of dangerous weather, food insecurity is a fundamental concern for rural families since the hurricane destroyed numerous crops and killed livestock.

Hurricane Matthew hit at the height of the banana, bean, and yam harvest. Today these staple crops are in critically low supply. Local products are scarce throughout the country. With widespread damage to subsistence production, households turn to markets to buy food. Some coastal markets have been able to import essentials like rice or maize, yet the destruction of transport routes poses a difficulty in delivery of goods to inland markets. Added to the scarcity of necessary products, many families lack the income to purchase essential food items.

Plant With Purpose partners are earning needed cash through our cash-for-work program. Farming families are building soil conservation barriers and contour canals to restructure their farms and prevent damage from extreme weather events in the future.

Thanks to faithful prayers and generous contributions exceeding $100,000, our partners are making exciting progress.

Partners are hard at work, taking ownership over recovery efforts. Plant With Purpose has created 2,090 temporary jobs including the employment of 693 women and 471 people who are new to Plant With Purpose. In total, more than 300 miles of soil conservation barriers have been constructed. This month the focus of recovery efforts will shift to planting bean seeds, the first steps to restore crop production.

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Reports on how the recovery funds have been put to use are reaching our San Diego office. Partner Naël used the money he earned in the cash-for-work program to pay for his daughter’s school fees. He is more confident that his farm is protected against erosion with the newly planted living barriers. “My first plan is to buy livestock,” he says.Naël is raising his neighbor’s goat so that he can have the baby. “My other plan is plant beans because I lost 250 pounds of beans after the hurricane.”

The impact is impressive and Plant With Purpose partners are proud of their achievements. With widespread eagerness to participate, Plant With Purpose staff shared the responsibility of supervision with select community leaders. Empowered in their roles, these individuals exhibited exceptional oversight. Inspection committees have formed to ensure the protection of newly established infrastructure. One committee found that three cows were were destroying barriers in Cornillons. The owner of the cows was fined, the funds shared among the community.

With gratitude, we acknowledge Plant With Purpose’s global family that came together to respond to immediate needs following Hurricane Matthew. Food security and income generation remain grave challenges in Haiti. Fortunately, Plant With Purpose partners, new and old, recognize opportunity and are on their way to stability. Recovery efforts are well underway, and progress is being realized.

 

Please continue to pray for Haiti.

You can make a direct donation to Plant With Purpose Haiti here.

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Pray With Purpose This January


Written by Plant With Purpose on January 5, 2017 in General, Prayer Letter

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Jesus often uses the small and inconsequential as everyday examples to teach us about faith. The mustard seed, our daily bread, children, the flowers of the field are simple illustrations that remind us that the kingdom can be found in the here and now, in our every day.

The invitation is extended for each of us to play a part in the kingdom. But it is not in our own strength that we fulfill our roles.

Carolina, a partnering farmer in Mexico, shares, “My trust in God has increased [because of Plant With Purpose]. People think you have to be strong but it’s not like that. If God is so strong and so powerful, he can do anything. I just have to add my little grain of sand.”

Thank you for joining the Plant With Purpose international family as we lift up these praises and prayers on the first Friday of the month. Each one is a simple grain of sand that is extending the kingdom to families living in poverty.


 

Burundi

We praise God for:

  • Endurance over the past three months with our tree planting campaign.
  • The success of our program in organizing a Tree Day on December 23. Participation included: program participants, churches, government, security corps, and schools and was covered by the media. Please pray that the connections made will be positive in attracting potential funding partners and expanding our presence amongst other organizations involved in environmental restoration in Burundi.
  • The success of the partnership agreement with World Food Programme (WFP). We are now at the first phase of distributing Food for Asset to 1,000 partnering families.
  • His mercy and protection allowing Plant With Purpose’s staff to end 2016 with hope and ready to enjoy 2017.

We pray for:

  • The family of Felix Kiruhura, our environment technician, who lost their mother. Please pray for the family during this time of grieving.
  • The communities in the Kakumba watershed that are facing hard times because of lack of rain. Their agriculture activities are not progressing due to the lack of rain.
  • Our Lord Jesus Christ to give us good health and protect our staff during this planting season. Please pray that he protects us from accidents because there will be a lot of walking and driving on bad roads.
  • A clear approach on phasing out some savings-and-loan groups that are located outside of our focus areas.

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

We praise God for

  • The successful launch of the tree-planting season. We have planted 20,000 fruit trees in Kakumba watershed and trees are still being planted.
  • The community of Kalonge’s vegetable garden and a large crop yield, including a big production of cabbage and onion. It is their first time having such quantity and they are very happy about the results.
  • Program manager Birori’s wife giving birth to a baby boy. We praise the Lord for this new addition to the family.
  • The meeting of church leaders in order to train pastors to value farmers in their communities. All these leaders have agreed to contribute to being a positive influence regarding this issue.
  • The good health of our staff.
  • The many Christmas celebrations that took place in December.

We pray for:

  • The family of Felix Kiruhura, our environment technician, who lost their mother. Please pray for the family during this time of grieving.
  • The communities in the Kakumba watershed that are facing hard times because of lack of rain. Their agriculture activities are not progressing due to the lack of rain.
  • The peace and reconciliation outreach event taking place this month. 

 

Dominican Republic

We praise God for:

  • Former Executive Director Carlos Disla, who successfully completed 14 years of working with Plant With Purpose with great effectiveness and passion. Praise the Lord for this new stage in life (retirement) and that God continues to bless him and his family.
  • Durbel Lora Brito and his new role as executive director. Durbel has worked with Plant With Purpose for more than 20 years, most recently as the director of environmental restoration.

We pray for:

  • The new savings-and-loan groups in the communities of Zumbador, La Yautía, and El Hoyo de Can.
  • The protection and health of our staff in 2017.

 

Haiti

We praise God for:

  • The supporters of Plant With Purpose who donated to the emergency program to help partnering communities recover after Hurricane Matthew.
  • Sufficient rain during December that allowed the planting of grass behind the soil-erosion barriers built during the cash-for-work activities.
  • The individuals involved in the cash-for-work activities who worked intensively to build hundreds of kilometers of soil-erosion barriers.
  • The fruitful field visit with the program manager from our office in northern Haiti.
  • Our agriculture communicator Damier and his family and their new baby.

We pray for:

  • A new year entered with hope and determination to continue to accompany vulnerable people to lift themselves out of poverty.
  • A meeting with fifteen farmers who have agroforestry farms and are now committed to help other farmers to establish agroforestry farms.
  • The community of Bojweny and the success of their fishpond project.

 

Mexico

We praise God for:

  • The savings-and-loan group’s favorable completion of the saving cycle for and their desire to continue growing their savings.
  • Partnering churches and the work that is being accomplished through them. Every day there is a greater awareness of their responsibility to steward creation and they are becoming more proactive in their care of the environment.
  • The lives, health, and character of the many community promoters we work alongside.
  • The workshops with promoters including the Stewardship of Creation that took place in Los Altos de Chiapas and with our team from Oaxaca. The time of reflection, learning, and work was valuable.
  • Staff member Carlos Cua who is ending his time of working with Plant With Purpose. May God bless him in this new stage of life.
  • His great faithfulness to us.

We pray for:

  • The staff, communities, and projects that we commit to the Lord as we being the new year. Please pray for his provision to do the work and wisdom and guidance as we move forward.
  • The visit of Plant With Purpose staff this month. Please pray for a good trip to Oaxaca and that the fieldwork they are coming to complete will be successfully carried out.

 

Tanzania

We praise God for:

  • His mercies and faithfulness in our lives. We are thankful for our health and the ability to work according to his will to positively impact people’s lives while caring for his creation.
  • Protecting the Plant With Purpose family: donors, USA team, all country offices, and program participants throughout 2016.
  • Our colleagues Zakaria Charles (spiritual renewal officer) and Tabitha Mkazeni (program officer in Same) who happily got married in December.
  • The successful tree planting campaign and participation of non-Plant With Purpose community members and local leaders.
  • Peaceful holidays for staff and program participants allowing us to come back refreshed and happy to continue our good work in the New Year.

We pray for:

  • His mercies. Please pray for the Lord’s mercies throughout 2017 and that he will help us achieve all we have planned.
  • Continued generosity from our donors and that they may continue to support program activities that are changing lives.
  • Strong marriages for both Zakaria and Tabitha. May God continue to bless them and their spouses.
  • Rain. Many areas, especially in the lowlands, have not received rain yet and as a result could not fully participate in tree planting campaign. Please pray for rain so they can plant trees and grow crops.
  • Event preparation for the group competition celebration. Please pray that everything goes as planned and may it be an event to remember for all those who attend.

 

Thailand

We praise God for:

  • The blessings in 2016 that God provided for our program: staff safety and health, our assistance to communities providing meaningful responses to their needs, and good partnerships within Thailand and other countries.
  • Thailand Environmental Day, which was conducted in Chiang Mai on November 29 and 30. There were more than 2,000 people at the event. Plant With Purpose shared about environmental protection and preservation approaches implemented with target communities such as agroforestry, watershed management, and community forest ideas.
  • A meaningful meeting of our program team to review the work of 2016. Below are some key improvements and accomplishments for which we praise God:
    • Increase of local people in managing their natural resources at community and network levels.
    • Local government accepting the good approach regarding forest and wildlife management and an increase of collaboration.
    • Increase of women, children, and youth participation in community development activities such as saving, planting trees, and livelihood activities.
    • Increase of interest from local churches, seminaries, and church networks in holistic ministry and participation in their communities.

We pray for:

  • New projects in Mae Fang sub-watershed in Chiang Mai, and other sub-watersheds in Chiang Rai that we are considering as new program areas. Please pray for good collaboration with local communities, churches, and organizations.
  • The Farmer Recall Survey (FRS), which will be conducted in January.
  • Wisdom for our staff, volunteers, and communities leaders who are key players in empowering families and farmers in responding to the needs and challenges of marginalized community members.

 

USA

We praise God for:

  • A wonderful Christmas season full of rest, time with family, and celebrating the birth of Jesus.
  • Our generous donors and supporters who make the work of Plant With Purpose possible. In regards to fundraising, this was our most successful December on record.
  • Carlos Disla and the many years that he has faithfully served as director in the Dominican Republic. Please pray for Carlos as he transitions into retirement. Please also pray for Durbel Lora Brito as he takes on the new role of country director.
  • The five years that Becky Rosaler shaped Plant With Purpose’s story as our marketing and events specialist. Please pray for her as she transitions to a director position at another international nonprofit.
  • The recent engagements for staff members Miguel Martinez and Christi Huizenga. Please pray for the planning of their upcoming weddings and marriages.
  • Our generous donors and supporters who make the work of Plant With Purpose possible.

We pray for:

  • The start of a new year and the Lord’s blessing on all of the planning and activities to be accomplished in 2017.
  • Program and technical staff’s upcoming trip to Mexico to engage communities in a process known as Farmer Recall Surveys.
  • Safe travel for Executive Director Scott Sabin as he heads to Tanzania to be a part of the group competition celebration and agriculture festival.
  • Safe travels for the group traveling to Haiti on a Vision Trip. This will be the first group trip to Haiti following Hurricane Matthew. Pray that the team will be an encouragement to everyone that they interact with and that their time in the country will be fruitful.
  • Wisdom in the hiring process for a marketing position within the development department.
  • The continued impact of Plant With Purpose’s program on families growing out of poverty and the restoration of God’s creation.
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Equip Families to Grow Out of Poverty


Written by Plant With Purpose on December 28, 2016 in General

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Just as trees cannot thrive without roots to anchor, feed, and nourish, no individual can thrive apart from community. We grow through the support of family and friends, and our spiritual growth takes place in relationships with believers who point us to Jesus. These are our roots.

Partnering families need these roots now more than ever since poverty has stripped their land leaving roots bare. Alier Garcia shares the obstacles that kept him uprooted.

There were no jobs

Alier saw only one viable option—leave behind his new wife, Isabel, and take off in search of a job. His wife, his mom, his people, and his language were all in Loma Chimedia, but there were no jobs. The land his family cultivated was worn out. The meager corn and beans they grew were not enough. For two years, Alier traveled to the city during the week, to return home only on the weekends.

This pattern caused Alier and Isabel’s roots to suffer. After two years, he took a huge risk, quit his job, and moved home, with no certainty that he could provide for his family.

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God was at work in Alier’s life as he strove to reestablish roots in Loma Chimedia. Alier was offered a leadership role in his community where his path crossed with Plant With Purpose. He visited a Plant With Purpose community and saw solutions to the dire needs in Loma Chimedia. For the first time he could envision the possibility of a thriving, agriculture community in rural Mexico.      

Alier and Isabel started with water to restore the tired soil. With the help of Plant With Purpose, Alier gathered his community and built a 70,000-liter water tank to store this precious resource. The cistern enabled year-round cultivation of crops. This was the first of many sustainable agriculture practices that the community applied to their farms to begin restoring the local environment and nurture healthy soil.

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The farmland began to wake up, and as the land flourished, so did Alier and Isabel. They produced vegetables, raised chickens, sold eggs at market, planted fruit trees, and reforested the steep hillsides that tower above their farm. The diverse and healthy landscape gave them security by producing a variety of crops and new sources of income. Plant With Purpose also began a savings group in Loma Chimedia where farmers could preserve and grow their hard-earned income.

Alier and Isabel established more than financial roots; their faith in God grew as well. Alier explains, “This experience—it helped us realize God’s love and know that he is here.” Alier was generous with his knowledge, his time, and his faith. He raised up a team of community organizers from across neighboring villages, teaching them lessons from Plant With Purpose, and revealing to others the ways in which God was sustaining them.

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Today, Alier and Isabel remain rooted in their community. They work hard to help others grow out of poverty throughout southern Mexico. Alier shares, “If we take care of our land, our security will be there. We have water. We have land. We have plants and seeds and food to eat. Nothing scares me.”

As you return to your roots this Christmas, take time to see the community that upholds you, the systems that support you. And remember people like Alier and Isabel Garcia who are able to thrive because you are a part of their community, their root system.

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Your generous gift this holiday season will enable Plant With Purpose to walk alongside families like the Garcias, helping them stay rooted to their families, communities, and to God as they restore their land and grow out of poverty.

 

Give today to equip families to grow out of poverty

 

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Overflowing Thankfulness This Christmas


Written by Plant With Purpose on December 24, 2016 in General

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So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your
lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you
were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7

 


 

On Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus who came as the savior of the world. We remember the importance of being rooted in family, Christ, and community.

Today we are overflow with thankfulness for you and the role you play in strengthening the faith of farming families around the world.

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas,

The Plant With Purpose Team

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2016 In Review


Written by Plant With Purpose on December 22, 2016 in General

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Plant With Purpose is celebrating a successful 2016. Not only has regional expansion taken place within the United States but collaboration across our seven country programs has strengthened the impact of our international family.

By the year’s end, Plant With Purpose should reach 20 million trees planted around the world! Our Village Savings and Loan Associations are investing more into their local communities than we are as an organization … nearly $3 million! 510 local churches are being equipped to spread God’s love to farming families who discover they have agency, purpose, and hope. In total, 32,634 families in 524 communities are growing out of poverty.

Read on to discover some of the highlights that made our year!

 


 

Burundi

  • 710,315 trees were planted! Many of these trees are indigenous and planted in partnership with the World Food Programme.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Executive Director Scott Sabin and Technical Director Bob Morikawa visited the pilot project. These two have made countless visits to our field program but this trip stood out as a demonstration of reconciliation, bonding, and defying years of local conflict.
  • In one year, the pilot program is exceeding goals by a landslide.

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Dominican Republic

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Haiti

  • The local staff quickly mobilized to assess damage and launch a cash-for-work program following Hurricane Matthew. More than $100,000 was raised to support these efforts.
  • In the last two month, 58,995 linear meters of soil conservation barriers have been constructed providing work for those most in need following the hurricane.

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Mexico

  • Partners are taking ownership of land resources with significant reforestation efforts.
  • Agronomist Jorge Lopez traveled to the Dominican Republic to conduct two training sessions, one in collaboration with participants in Haiti.

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Tanzania

  • Annual tree planting competition reached record numbers.  

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Thailand

  • Hosted an international meeting of agronomists to learn from one another.

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USA

  • Hired three regional representatives expanding our footprint in Denver, Houston, San Francisco, and Chicago.
  • Sent our first international fellow, Taylor Pizzuto, to the Dominican Republic. 

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Support a Savings Group This Christmas!


Written by Plant With Purpose on December 21, 2016 in General, Gifts of Hope

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Holiday gift giving is a tradition that stems all the way back to the birth of Jesus.

Christmas is really about the ultimate gift that God gave the world over 2000 years ago—his son and our Savior.

Friends and family gather to celebrate and to express love in the form of gifts. While this season can be a sweet time of fellowship and reflection, for many it breeds stress, excess, and unnecessary spending.

This Christmas, waste not and be stress free! Give meaningful gifts that will change the future for rural farming families. Plant With Purpose’s Gifts of Hope offer opportunities to acknowledge loved ones and to contribute to a greater impact. Read on to discover unique gifts for everyone on your list.


 

When poor families in developing countries have no financial savings to serve as a safety net, they often have to make difficult decisions choosing between feeding their children or sending them to school. These families are not looking for handouts. They’re looking for opportunities to change their circumstances and create a better tomorrow for their children. One way Plant With Purpose is providing this kind of opportunity is through Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA). Through this savings-led approach to microfinance, groups receive no outside capital. Instead, they come together to save their own money and then use the savings for loans to fellow group members who can then develop small businesses, invest in farms, or provide for family needs.

Juana Aria is the accountant and a founding member of Palmarito’s Village and Savings Loan Association in the Dominican Republic. Palmarito’s group has 50 members and is in its seventh cycle. Juana says:

“We see in this group the glory of God. The VSLA has taught us responsibility, honesty, discipline, and solidarity. We love each other and we now know how to save. We no longer have to take outside loans from loan sharks. Plant With Purpose has changed our lives.”

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Palmarito’s large and successful VSLA group serves as a platform for other community initiatives. The community has established their own cacao tree nursery, the main source of income. They also have planted a number of orange, avocado, zapote, and yucca trees.

As a community, Palmarito has experienced significant improvement in morale since partnering with Plant With Purpose. Strengthened in their ability to provide for their families, Juana expresses: “We are a very happy and proud community.” In the midst of uncertainty, the people of Palmarito kept to themselves. “Before we didn’t celebrate, but now we are a celebrating community” Juana says. “We celebrate mother’s day, father’s day, and our anniversary of our group.”

Today, we celebrate with the community of Palmarito. With renewed dignity and hope Palmarito is making strides towards an even brighter tomorrow.

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The Gift of Savings-Led Microfinance provides training and materials for savings-and-loan groups so that they can invest in their communities. Support leaders like Juana in Palmarito as they come to find stability and hope.

This Christmas, as you choose gifts for your friends and family, consider giving them an alternative gift, one that will change the future for a rural farming family.

Support a Savings Group this Christmas!

View the complete Gifts of Hope Online Catalog. Happy shopping!

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Seven Reasons VSLA Is Smart Microfinance


Written by Plant With Purpose on December 21, 2016 in General, List

The Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) model may just be the best-kept secret in microfinance. Plant With Purpose began implementing this innovative methodology with groups in Tanzania in 2009, and it has become so successful that all Plant With Purpose programs are now using this approach to microfinance. There are currently 1,161 groups with over 29,400 individuals meeting weekly to save. A combined sum of savings, loans, fines, and the social fund – know as member equity – currently totals almost $3 million.

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Here’s why it works:

1. Sustainability

Traditional microfinance models depend on a continuous influx of outside capital, but VSLA equips groups to mobilize their own funds. Instead of giving loans, Plant With Purpose provides high-quality training.

2. Rural Inclusion

Most microfinance institutions (MFIs) tend to avoid rural communities because they are expensive to access and serve, but VSLAs are ideal for rural communities.

3. Savings

The majority of people living in rural areas have no access to formal banking, so VSLAs become a way to safely save, allowing families to plan for the future.

4. Interest Accrual

The buck literally stops here with VSLA groups because interest payments stay with the group rather than going to outside MFIs.

5. Repayment Rates

According to VSL Associates, VSLA groups have the highest loan repayment rates of any microfinance model in the world.

6. Leadership Development

Groups are self-governed, so members have opportunities to exercise democratic leadership skills.

7. Empowerment

People discover how much they are capable of doing on their own. Not only does this instill dignity, but there is an overflow effect in which groups decide to tackle other issues within their communities.

The Hope of Change video

To learn more about VSLAs, watch The Hope of Change.

 

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Gift a Family Garden This Christmas!


Written by Plant With Purpose on December 15, 2016 in General, Gifts of Hope

2016 Holiday Web Banner 851X315

Holiday gift giving is a tradition that stems all the way back to the birth of Jesus.

Christmas is really about the ultimate gift that God gave the world over 2000 years ago—his son and our Savior.

Friends and family gather to celebrate and to express love in the form of gifts. While this season can be a sweet time of fellowship and reflection, for many it breeds stress, excess, and unnecessary spending.

This Christmas, waste not and be stress free! Give meaningful gifts that will change the future for rural farming families. Plant With Purpose’s Gifts of Hope offer opportunities to acknowledge loved ones and to contribute to a greater impact. Read on to discover unique gifts for everyone on your list.


 

A family garden represents enduring hope to a farming family. Vegetables offer vital nutrients and provide a source of income. Your gift helps a family establish a garden and provides training in sustainable farming techniques. That way, parents can put nutritious meals on the table for their children. Families also gain increased income through the sale of surplus produce, which can be used to send children to school, provide health care, and cover the costs of household necessities.

Veerapan Bansupa, farmer and father in the hillside community of Huay Pong in Thailand, lived in deep poverty for many years. He struggled to provide for his wife and their infant son on degraded slopes with limited knowledge of how to cultivate his land. Veerapan recalls, “We did not have clean water, and we had to buy most of our food.”

Through trainings provided by Plant With Purpose, Veerapan has been able to plant a garden on his property and increase the diversity of this family’s diet and income sources dramatically.

“From the backyard garden, my family has good food to eat and we can save some money on food. I can sell some of my produce and we can save some money for the education of our son.”

Veerapan continues:

I have had the opportunity to plant trees in my own garden, and also in the community nursery. I know that planting trees is good for my community and for our children. I hope that my family and my community can be part of helping the earth. We plant trees and protect them because they help to have water. I can see the impact of that because my community still has water in dry season.

…We learn about agroforestry and I know that it helps for the good air, good water, good soil, and good food.

The gift of a family garden provides nutrition and income to farming families, and hope to fathers like Veerapan who simply want the best for their loved ones.

This Christmas, as you choose gifts for your friends and family, consider giving them an alternative gift, one that will change the future for a rural farming family.

Gift a Family Garden this Christmas!

View the complete Gifts of Hope Online Catalog. Happy shopping!

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Invest in a Child’s Future This Christmas!


Written by Plant With Purpose on December 13, 2016 in General, Gifts of Hope

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Holiday gift giving is a tradition that stems all the way back to the birth of Jesus.

Christmas is really about the ultimate gift that God gave the world over 2000 years ago—his son and our Savior.

Friends and family gather to celebrate and to express love in the form of gifts. While this season can be a sweet time of fellowship and reflection, for many it breeds stress, excess, and unnecessary spending.

This Christmas, waste not and be stress free! Give meaningful gifts that will change the future for rural farming families. Plant With Purpose’s Gifts of Hope offer opportunities to acknowledge loved ones and to contribute to a greater impact. Read on to discover unique gifts for everyone on your list.


 

Every child deserves the opportunity for a bright future. This gift equips a family produce nutritious food, raise incomes, manage money, and grow in their relationship with God. These tools are sure steps out of poverty for generations to come.

Plant With Purpose families in Burundi are flourishing due to the adoption of new agricultural techniques and commitment to planting indigenous fruit trees. The advocacy of just a few families is leading to widespread change in mindset and wellbeing. Divine Manirakiza, a primary student in the community of Kiremba, is among those thriving from these developments.

Like all children, Divine and her friends love to roam and explore. Attending the local primary school, these girls’ educations were hindered by hunger. In a country with over 58 percent of the population severely malnourished, cognitive learning is seriously delayed. Divine and her friends were delighted when they happened upon a grove of budding fruit trees on their way home from school.

Plant With Purpose’s new protection zone implemented in Kiremba has secured land plots for cultivating fruit. Every day on their way home from school, Divine and her friends stop to indulge in this delicious fruit that was once a scarce commodity. Mouth filled with fruit, Divine said, “We are very happy to see fruit reappearing that had totally disappeared. When we come from school, we often pass by to eat and go home with full tummies!”

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Support for farming families brings lasting transformation to communities. It also provides opportunity and hope to children like Divine seeking a better future.

This Christmas, as you choose gifts for your friends and family, consider giving them an alternative gift, one that will change the future for a rural farming family.

Invest in a Child’s Future this Christmas!

View the complete Gifts of Hope Online Catalog. Happy shopping!

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