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We’re Happy to Introduce…


Written by Plant With Purpose on October 10, 2011 in General

… Lars. One of our two Grant Writing interns working with us this semester! He recently returned from completing a specialized internship with our program in Burundi and he’s full of incredible stories and thoughtful perspectives. You may have caught his blog last week on the passing of the wonderful Wangari Maathai.

lars My name is Lars Stairs-Almquist, and I am pleased to join the Plant With Purpose team as their Grant Writing Intern this fall.  I am currently in my final semester of graduate school at the Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego, where I am studying the intersection of land access, food security and the prevalence of infectious disease in post-conflict societies.  As the majority of my research has centered on the Great Lakes Region of Africa, and the small nation of Burundi in particular, I was thrilled to learn that Plant With Purpose had recently expanded its work into this oft-neglected corner of the world.

In an effort to supplement my academic research with on-the-ground experience, I was privileged to support Plant With Purpose’s work this past summer by developing and conducting a peacebuilding primary research survey in three rural Burundian communities where Plant With Purpose works.  It is my belief that potential fault lines for future violent conflict in the region will only be exacerbated by diminishing access to arable land and increased competition for very limited resources.  Plant With Purpose’s holistic approach to restoring the land and its people is thus an integral piece of the post-conflict peacebuilding process, and one that, combined with the necessary resources, has the capacity to alleviate the scourge of war and violent conflict in contentious societies. 

I hope that both my academic and fieldwork experience will benefit Plant With Purpose mission and the organization’s efforts to secure funding for projects in some of the poorest and least secure communities on the planet.

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Keep your eyes peeled for a full report on the 27th Annual Planting Hope Gala that took place last weekend! All I can say is… It was Spectacular! – Corbyn


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