Rebecca: Planting for Tomorrow
in Malindi, Tanzania
Written by Plant With Purpose on July 30, 2015 in Plant For Tomorrow
We are nearing the fiscal yearend and our goal of $3.5 million to complete our Plant For Tomorrow campaign. With your help, Plant With Purpose will reach 100,000 new people in 200 new communities while launching programs in Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This campaign will multiply Plant With Purpose’s life-changing work as we seek to restore people’s relationships with the land, one another, and the Lord. Join us in celebrating stories of transformation as we continue to Plant For Tomorrow!
For many years, Rebecca counted herself lucky if she managed three meals a day. Money was scarce, the land was drying out, and fires increasingly threatened homes in the Moshi District. The future seemed a burden: how would she continue to put food on the table and pay school fees for her five children?
After attending one of Plant With Purpose’s environmental conservation and organic agriculture training groups, Rebecca decided it was time to make a change. Over the next four months, she implemented the strategies taught by Plant With Purpose staff in her own vegetable garden—with stunning results. The produce far surpassed her family’s needs and she sold the extra food for a total of $350. With this success, Rebecca was convinced that gardening would be her path to a brighter future.
Neighbors soon took note of Rebecca’s achievement. They responded enthusiastically and mobilized to form Malindi’s first Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA). The group started in 2009 and remains strong, helping members—including Rebecca—invest in better tools to create healthier lives. She recently took out a loan of $440 to pay for corrugated iron and timber, and she’s saved a substantial $250 this year alone. Life for Rebecca is now an opportunity for continued growth and not the struggle it was before.
Rebecca recounts those early days: “For the crops to perform well … we were trained on the importance of feeding the soil to make it productive.” She counts off the skills she has learned as if each were a pearl, beautiful, bright, and enduring. “Last year I pruned some trees in my forest and earned $50, and we also practice terrace techniques that minimize soil erosion and increase water and soil nutrients.”
Rebecca has even begun giving back to her own community. Friends and neighbors come to her tree nursery to purchase seedlings for their own gardens, and she provides a daily supply of vegetables to a local school that pays her a small monthly sum. She hopes that someday soon every community member will be involved in tree planting.
Rebecca and the residents of Malindi are planting today to change futures tomorrow, and with your help, we will extend this impact to hundreds of other communities in need. Join us as we Plant For Tomorrow.