“Plant it Forward”

by Zachary Melanson on July 10, 2014

‘Pound for Pemba’ is more than just a fundraiser. It is how CFI was born.

A light-hearted video about this years 'Pound for Pemba' 2014 fundraiser and the people that make it happen.


Pound for Pemba is in many ways the story of how our small NGO - against all odds - pushed through those tough first years. Back when we knew very little about fundraising, or grant writing. Back when we planted trees for a living.

“Pounding” is a part of the tree planter vernacular and refers to giving it your all when you plant trees. Tree planters know how to pound, and it is this unique subculture of hardworking young people who, after battling blackflies, extreme weather and exhaustion, still have the heart to share with people on the other side of the globe.

This year I returned to the distant world of northern Canadian bush camps yet again to visit my friends and colleagues for CFI’s 6th Annual ‘Pound for Pemba” campaign.  A little out of the ordinary, this fundraiser connects hundreds of tree planters to the spirit of innovation and positive change being fostered by thousands of people on the island of Pemba.

Each year, as I travel from camp to camp, I get to bear witness to tree planters pushing aside thoughts of school loans, debts, and travel plans, and donating the trees they plant to support ongoing projects in Pemban communities. With what seems like effortless generosity, they are transforming an entire island; lighting a spark that gives others the opportunity to change their lives.

This year, tree planters and staff of Brinkman & Associates Reforestation planted 151 286 trees in support of Pemban communities. That is $22 312.68 worth of wages from my peers. Totaling over $130 000 raised to date. I coudn't be more proud of my friends. Tree planters helped us stay afloat during our fledgling years as an NGO, and they continue to contribute significantly to the projects in Pemba. Thank you all

Pound for Pemba photos here

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