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Plant for Pemba

by Community Forests International on June 11, 2013

The story of how a few hundred Canadian tree planters have helped Pemban's transform their landscape.

Community Forests International was born in a tree planting camp. 6 years ago, in its earliest days, CFI's goal was to to keep a small tree planting project that Jeff Schnurr and Mbarouk Mussa Omar had initiated months earlier from running out of steam. Initially funded with a small grant from the Finnish Embassy in Tanzania,  Jeff and Mbarouk, had made great inroads implementing the first year of the project; visiting communities, helping set up low-cost nurseries, and working alongside communities to grow trees from collected seed.                                   

If CFI were an engine, Canadian tree planters would be the fuel.

The project was extremely fragile in that first year. Our challenge as a newly created NGO was to somehow raise money to keep the tremendous energy and enthusiasm we had witnessed on the Island growing. Having little success at finding donors, we turned to the only surefire way we knew how to make money… planting trees in Canada.  We began a small fundraiser in our camp. Jeff told his story and we all took a day to plant trees for Pemba. It kept the projects alive, an inspired a community of tree planters to become involved in restoring degraded landscapes on the Island. Since that first year, the fundraiser has grown to include 10 Brinkman & Associates tree planting camps from across Canada, generating $72,313 to the tree project to date.  Even more staggering, is what has been achieved through the generous donations of both Brinkman and their planters; growing, tending, and planting of over 1 million trees on the Island! A Tree for a Tree in 2013 With the support of Brinkman and Associates, CFI is able to send me back to northern Canada again to visit tree planters and share/update our supporters.  With all the travel costs of the fundraiser covered by Brinkman, 100% of planters donations can go directly to the projects. In real terms that means that for every one tree planted in Canada,  10 can be grown and planted in Pemban communities. Something everyone can feel good about! To join this years fundraiser alongside Canadian tree planters, visit our support page and stay connected with this years fundraiser over the next few weeks here and on our Facebook page.  

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