Friday, February 26, 2010

Floresta-Burundi Program Update

by Kate McElhinney Plant With Purpose board member Cathi Lundy graciously came to our office on Thursday to give a presentation on her recent visit to Plant With Purpose's newest program in Burundi, Africa. Cathi and her daughter, Neva Lundy, were the first Plant With Purpose supporters to visit our programs there, so it was invaluable to hear her stories and experiences, and to view her magnificent photos. We have been working in Burundi for a little over a year now, and it is encouraging to hear people's testimonies about how their lives have been transformed. Below are some photos from Cathi's trip. Thank you, Cathi!

The Floresta-Burundi staff made this sign out of bricks.

Fuel efficient stoves help the environment by minimizing the need for wood, shortening cooking time, and cutting down on pollution from burning. More importantly, the people can make them from materials readily available. This is a cassava plant. They use almost all of it by cooking the greens on the top and eating the root at the bottom. They can also dry and grind the root into flour and make fu fu (pasty starch like ugali eaten with other foods). Additionally, they take cuttings and sell them to other farmers to start fields. According to Cathi, this is one of the main images that symbolizes Burundi: a mother with a baby on her back. Stay tuned for more stories from Burundi!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Agricultural and Overpopulation Concerns in Haiti

by Tenaya Wickstrand, Plant With Purpose PR and Events Intern

“ [A] couple's spare, concrete house -- no bigger than an average one-bedroom apartment in the United States -- is packed to bursting. Food once converted to cash goes to feed the homeless loved ones. Money is now so short that the pair doubt they will be able to buy seeds for the crucial spring planting season that is only weeks away.” This is just one example Ken Ellingwood gives in his recent Los Angeles Times article, Haiti Quake is Beginning to be Felt Miles Away, of families struggling to feed and provide shelter for displaced Haitians.

Plant With Purpose works with communities who are experiencing this exact description.

Additionally, Ellingwood sheds light on the fact that, “Relief workers say only a tiny portion of international aid has been earmarked for rural Haitians, who account for most of the country's 9 million people. Of the $23 million sought for farmers as part of an urgent appeal by the United Nations, donor governments have provided only about $2 million for agriculture.”

Plant With Purpose is one of 16 organizations in this agricultural focus. Our cluster has been designated 1 million, of the U.N.’s 2 million budget for Haiti, which would go toward helping 2,500 families in Haiti.

The deforestation in Haiti depletes the countryside, resulting in the lack of nutrients, soil, water resources, and food supplies. This is why Plant With Purpose is devoted to reversing this vicious cycle of deforestation by teaching them sustainable agro-forestry techniques. We have helped farmers plant more than 640,000 trees in Haiti, and plan to use short-term employment programs to plant 350,000 more by the end of the year.

A portion of Plant With Purpose’s relief funds are going toward the purchase of seeds to improve this situation, and help transform the lives of the rural farmers. We have purchased 70,178 lbs. of seed so far, and have started the distribution of those seeds last week.

Plant With Purpose has been privileged to be a part of the continuing transformation in Haiti.

To read the full article by Ken Ellingwood click here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Story of Inspiration

by Corbyn Small
Late last fall, a teacher of a 5th grade class in Naperville, Illinois got in touch with Plant With Purpose asking how his class could be involved in supporting our work. Mr. Farrelly said that they would be studying Africa in their geography class and that Plant With Purpose's programs in either Tanzania or Burundi would make a great fit and teaching tool. I sent a couple of brochures and had a few short conversations with Mr. Farrelly and that was it. The rest was up to our newest advocate, a 5th grade teacher,
and his ability to inspire creativity and action in the minds of his students.
A few short months later Plant With Purpose received a check for a whopping $650.00 and a note signed by the whole class expressing 'great joy in being able to give to Africa.' The students discussed where in Plant With Purpose's programs they would like to see the funds designated, and they decided that reforestation and agroforestry in Burundi, our newest program, would be the best place. Our whole office was taken aback at these 11-12-year-olds who had not only raised a lot of money on their own, but also decided where in Plant With Purpose's complex programs they would like to fund!
These students managed to raise enough money to plant 650 trees in Burundi! But that's not all by a long shot: they gained invaluable education about a world that has so much need and yet so much to offer. Mr. Farrelly taught his students how deforestation in Africa not only affects the environment, but every individual farmer who lives day to day growing crops to feed their families. He helped them to see that looking at root causes rather than symptoms is the best way to take a strong stand against poverty as we know it.
To the students in Mr. Farrelly's 5th Grade Geography class, on behalf of Plant With Purpose staff both here in the United States and internationally in Burundi, THANK YOU! Your creativity and sacrifice help to remind us that no matter who you are or where you come from, you can make a positive difference in this world. This testimony goes to show that today's youth are ready to engage in real life issues; after all, it's their future they are looking after.
If you are inspired to be a part of the transformative development work taking place through Plant With Purpose in six countries around the world, please visit www.plantwithpurpose.org. To sponsor a village for only $30 a month Click Here
Plant With Purpose staff (with Brian McLaren) and Plant With Purpose Burundi Staff.
~~~~~

Corbyn Small serves as Plant With Purpose’s Outreach Coordinator. He cultivates relationships with donors, churches, artists and musicians to generate interest and enthusiasm for Plant With Purpose’s life-changing programs. corbyn@plantwithpurpose.org

Monday, February 22, 2010

Haiti Update

Here is a quick update of our recovery efforts in Haiti over the last week.

Food Distribution:

  • Last Tuesday 24 families in Cherident were given rice and cooking oil.
  • We made our first food delivery to Cornillon (part of Plant With Purpose’s northern border project). 18.5 tons of rice and 1,585 liters of cooking oil were distributed to 230 families in 5 communities.
  • 22.7 tons of rice and 1,632 liters of oil were distributed in 14 communities in the Grande Colline region, including 1.5 tons of rice that were given to local authorities to distribute among community members who are not involved with Plant With Purpose’s programs.
  • Food distribution began in Fonds Verrettes (southern Border Project) this weekend and will continue throughout the week.
  • 7.6 tons of rice and 576 liters of oil were distributed among authorities from several Sections in the Leogane region.
  • Plant With Purpose has distributed approximately 74.8 tons of rice and 11,125 liters of cooking oil in 45 of our member and 2 non-member communities.

Emergency Food Production:

  • We have purchased 70,178 lbs of the 75,000 lbs of seed that we need for the project. 7,500 lbs of seeds came from the seed reserves we accumulated as farmers repaid 20% of the bean seeds that were given to them after the storms of 2008,
  • Seed distribution began this week, and farmers will begin planting right away in order to produce nutritious food in the next crop cycle.

Short-term employment and Soil Conservation project:

  • We have an inventory of 41,300 tree seedlings available from our nurseries and we have ordered 135,000 tree seedlings from local providers.
  • We will begin recruiting workers this week to plant seedlings and construct soil erosion barriers on deforested hillsides.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Taste of Tending to Eden

The following excerpt is from pages 26 to 28 in Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God's People by our Executive Director, Scott Sabin.

This book helps connect the dots between poverty and the environment, and makes the biblical case for how as Christians it is our job to care for the earth. Tending to Eden also comes with a creation care Bible study, so you and your congregation or Bible study can more deeply explore and apply this concept.

You can purchase the book through our website here: http://www.plantwithpurpose.org/page/64/tending-to-eden.html.

For every purchase that is made through our website, amazon.com will donate a portion of the proceeds to Plant With Purpose, which will go toward directly benefiting the rural poor. Thank you, faithful readers, for your support! And stay tuned for more "tastes" of Tending to Eden.

"One evening in the early days of our work in Haiti, several of

us sat on the front porch of a guesthouse in Grand Colline, [Haiti]

exchanging stories and watching fireflies. Pere Albert, the Haitian

Episcopal priest with whom we partnered, came up the path from

the vocational school building, where he lived, to join us.

The conversation turned to his testimony. He told us how

happy he was that God had given him a task to do. “God gives

each of us something to do for him,” he said. “It’s as if a boss gathered

together a group of his workers, and he turned to each one

and said, ‘I have a very important job for you.’” With childlike

glee he exclaimed, “It makes me happy that God wants to work

with me. I feel excited!”

Then he asked, “Can you imagine how you’d feel if, when the

boss got to you, he skipped you because he had nothing for you

to do?”

For the first time, it dawned on me how terrible it must feel to

believe you have nothing to contribute, to feel you are and always

will be completely dependent on the goodwill of outsiders. The

good news, implicit in the Mathew 25 parable, is that everyone

has been given talents they can work with. We all have something

to contribute to the kingdom of God. Each of us has an important

role to play. This is news we need to hear for ourselves and share

with others, because it is significant and too often neglected.

The lie of the world, reinforced by the media and believed by

millions, is that the poor are worthless. The global economic system

measures worth in dollars—you are paid according to how

society values your contribution. The message is that as a Haitian

farmer, no matter how bright you are, and no matter how hard

you work, you will never be worth more than a few hundred dollars

a year.

We need to defeat the lie that says worth is measured in dollars.

Sadly, the poor and many of those who try to help them have

unknowingly bought into this lie. For the poor, it is manifested in

a lack of self-confidence, self-esteem, and initiative. For those

seeking to help, it manifests itself in condescension and patronizing

attitudes. Unfortunately, when outsiders offer help, whether through foreign

aid, short-term missions, or donations, we often reinforce this

lie. We bring used clothes that put local tailors out of business and

give away free food that undercuts the local farmers. We construct

buildings for people, putting local masons and carpenters out of

work and implicitly sending the message that it takes outsiders to

get things done. We may even encourage small businesses based

on models that work in the United States, but because we don’t

understand the culture and local economics, these businesses fail.

And that failure reinforces the lie that the local people are incapable

of succeeding.

The elders from an evangelical church in a small village in Mexico

approached me about the construction of a new church building.

A concrete foundation had been poured, and had been sitting

there for years. When I asked why they’d not started building it,

one of the elders told me, “We have been waiting for you to come

do it for us.”

I don’t mean to disparage anyone who gives to the poor. We

are commanded to do so. There are times when a handout is the

most important thing a person can receive. People need assistance

when they are sick, or after a disaster, or helpless. Children who

have no families clearly need someone to care for them.

But if we do for others what they can and should do for themselves,

we rob them of their dignity and reinforce the lie that they

have nothing to offer. We create dependency.

A story is told of travelers who come into a community during

a famine and ask for something to eat. They are told there is nothing.

The travelers take out a pot and begin to make soup by boiling

some stones. When asked about it, they explain that they are

making “stone soup” and only need a bit of garnish to improve it.

One by one everyone in the village brings something to contribute.

In the end a fine stew is made, with everyone eating their fill.

Similarly, the members of a community often have the materials

and resources needed to change their situation. Sometimes people

just need a catalyst and a little organization to create something far

better than any of them could have imagined."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bob's Latest Updates from Haiti

Plant With Purpose Technical Director Bob Morikawa, who has been in Haiti for the past month working with our local staff to coordinate immediate relief efforts, has safely returned to his home in Canada. The following are some blog posts from his last days in Haiti. Thanks, Bob, for all your hard work!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I think in some previous post, I've mentioned that the migration to rural zones is causing a huge increase in household size. We've conducted two surveys of the family situation, one around the end of January, and one last week. At the end of January, the average family size was around 8 members an increase from the pre-earthquake average of around 6 members. As of last week average family size was 10 members per household, with many families having 15 or 20. I heard of one family in a small town called Trouin with 32 people living under one roof. The situation is, as they say, dynamic, and complicated. We are doing our best to track the trends while at the same time trying to get help to these same families as best we can. Pictured here is a small 'settlement' in Trouin where everyone is crowded under plastic tarps. The last time I visited this camp 3 weeks ago, it was much more adhoc. Now it looks like people are settling in for the long haul.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I've got to say, I'm proud to be part of this team here of our staff that are responding to this situation. At least I am at the moment--other moments I feel paralyzed with frustration, so I may as well post now.

One of our staff just came down from the border area on motorcycle with a handful of household surveys. These surveys are very short, one page only, and only a handful of households were interviewed, 25 in the case of the border. But all this still takes time, and if you knew the road conditions and the separation of the communities in that area, you would know that even this small amount is no mean feat.

On top of that this technician had tire puncture on the way, and managed to get the bike here on partial pressure. On top of that, this same technician has the responsibility to price out and buy seed stock for our upcoming emergency seed distribution, so he really had zero time in which to conduct these surveys. So now I have data to enter. Much needed data which can help us make decisions about what to do and how to do it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm going to go out on a limb here and state outright that this is the biggest humanitarian crisis since Rwanda. The number of fatalities is not quite as high, somewhere in the range of 200000, but the number injured or displaced is in the millions. The official number affected is around 3 million, but if you count the fact that all those displaced people are crowding back into the rural homes of their parents, relatives, or friends, I would hazard to say that there is hardly a family in the country that is not affected. Not to mention the uncounted that are fleeing to the Dominican Republic, the US, Canada, and other places. I would go even further to say that if you are reading this blog post, this event has also impacted you in some way. It is really amazing, the way the global community has responded to this event, giving financially, volunteering, sending materials, planes, relief experts, etc. I have even noticed that Google has now added Haitian Creole to their list of languages on their Translate tool. No doubt this is also a response to the earthquake.

That is one (of several things) that contrasts this event from Rwanda. Maybe we all trying to make up for our lack of response to Rwanda. I think Bill Clinton has admitted as much with respect to his own record. I don't think this is a chance to make up for past sins. Acting out of guilt usually goes no where good in my experience, but this may be a chance to learn from past mistacks, mistakes.

You can read all of Bob's blog posts at whereisbob.blogspot.com.

To donate to Haiti relief efforts, please visit www.plantwithpurpose.org.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hope for Haiti Lies in the Hands of Farmers

by Aly Lewis

“There is still hope in Haiti. There is still opportunity in Haiti. All you have to do is look into the eyes of the men, women and children whose resilience over the past months has inspired the world,” said Cheryl Mills, Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her recent article, The Importance of Agriculture in Confronting Hunger, Poverty, and Unemployment in Haiti.

Everyone’s talking about the best way to rebuild an earthquake-tattered Haiti richer, better and stronger. I have been excited to read numerous articles emphasizing the great opportunity for Haiti—and those of us working in Haiti—to address the root causes of such daunting problems as miserable poverty, widespread hunger, and massive unemployment.

In Mills’ article she writes about the vital need for food security in the rebuilding of Haiti, especially as thousands relocate from crumbled Port-au-Prince to rural areas. She highlights the critical role agriculture will play in establishing food security and contributing to the future health and prosperity of the nation. In fact, the United States’ aid efforts to Haiti will focus on “investing in agriculture as a key mechanism to tackle poverty, the root cause of food insecurity and under-nutrition.”

Revitalizing Haiti’s agriculture sector will not be an easy task. According to Mills there is an abundance of challenges, including: “small farms; limited mechanization; low yields; soil erosion; limited access to agricultural inputs; scarce credit; high post-harvest losses; and poor or non-existent rural infrastructure.”

That’s where we come in. For 13 years Plant With Purpose has been working to improve agriculture in Haiti by transforming the lives of rural farmers. Plant With Purpose’s earthquake recovery plan specifically addresses many of the challenges named by Mills. Short-term employment teams will plant trees and apply soil conservation techniques to combat soil erosion and restore small farm plots to productivity while giving desperate farmers immediate income. Additionally, farmers will be provided with crop seeds and tools—agricultural inputs—to increase their crop yields this planting season. Coupled with Plant With Purpose’s ongoing work of teaching sustainable agriculture, granting access to credit, and empowering communities to take ownership of their problems and work collectively to implement creative solutions, Haitian farmers will become vital agents in the revival of Haiti’s agriculture sector.

There is still hope in Haiti. And it is in the very farmers Plant With Purpose has the privilege of calling partners and friends.

To read the full article by Cheryl Mills click here.

To donate to Plant With Purpose’s relief and recovery efforts in Haiti click here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Taking the Reigns

by Corbyn Small Last week Aly talked about some of the amazing accomplishments that Plant With Purpose's partner staff in Haiti has achieved in a short amount of time under strenuous circumstances. Guy, our Haitian program director and his team have handled all of the food distribution, water provisions, road repair, and planning meetings with coordinating organizations such as the UN, USAID, and Interaction. On top of all of these responses to the earthquake, the regular sustainable agriculture and micro-enterprise programs resumed almost immediately after the quake because our staff knows that this planting season is vital to create larger harvests and food security in coming months.
None of this would have been possible were it not for our Haitian staff. They are courageous leaders, whose hearts are set on helping each individual family struggling to make enough wages to keep food on the table. Our country director Guy has stepped up to the plate and is leading his team to organize committees to help rebuild Haiti. In response to the devastation, they have formed a food distribution committee, a seed committee, a reforestation committee, a soil conservation committee, a road repair committee, and a technical coordination committee. Each of these committees are meeting very specific needs and are headed up by very qualified members that are making sure that everything that can be done is being done. All of Plant With Purpose's in-country staff members in each of our programs are locals, strengthening our community development work from the ground up.
We want to thank our partnering staff around the world for working so hard and investing themselves in the communities around them. They are building relationships that will help change the conversation from despair to one of hope and prosperity for places like Haiti, Burundi, and Oaxaca.
Some of the Dominican Staff Staff in Thailand
Some of the staff in Oaxaca, Mexico
Staff in Tanzania
Staff in Burundi

Friday, February 12, 2010

Haiti Relief Progress Update

Plant With Purpose is making great progress in providing immediate aid to the people of Haiti. Thus far, we have distributed 16.245 tons of rice and 5,940 liters of cooking oil to 42 communities. The project has been successful in bringing much needed food to families, and we plan to continue and expand our food distribution to include the community of Fonds Verrettes.

Additionally, our seed distribution project is underway; staff members have identified local providers for both tools and seeds and have ordered 20,000 lbs of pois seeds and 1,000lbs of sorghum for farmers to plant in Grande Goave and Fonds Verrettes. This will enable farmers to grow food to feed their families in the next harvest.

We have also been gearing up to implement a short-term employment program through reforestation and soil conservation projects. We have identified 8,925 seedlings in our community nurseries and have purchased 100,000 more from the organization, Double Harvest. Farmers will be temporarily employed to plant trees on deforested hillsides, increasing their income in the short-term while making a lasting impact on their greatest asset—the land. Additionally, 13 microwatersheds have been identified for soil conservation efforts.

Thanks to everyone who has made this project possible by donating to Plant With Purpose’s relief and recovery efforts. Because of you, families will have food to eat, jobs to support themselves, and land that will produce abundant fruit. We are grateful to join with the people of Haiti as they seek to recover and rebuild. To donate to our efforts Click Here.

Day of Prayer and Fasting in Haiti

Reposted from Bob Morikawa's blog "Where is Bob?," who is currently in Haiti.

"Today has been declared by the government as a national day of prayer and fasting. It is a month since the quake and churches across the country are holding services all morning to remember the victims and reflect. According to government reports, the country has lost 25% of leadership and intellectuals. From where I sit at my laptop I can hear at least a couple of different services going on with a lot of singing and praying. Apparently in one part of the city, a fasting and prayer vigil and a food distribution were planned for the same location, causing confusion and consternation. "

As you go about your day, please take some time to join with our brothers and sisters in prayer, reflection, and remembrance.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

PWP Haitian Communities Speak Out

Below are two short testimonies we have received from families in Haiti. These accounts show a tremendous amount of courage and faith despite dire circumstances. Before the earthquake there were 11 people in my house. They ate 3 times per day and we sent 6 of them to school. After, 9 more people joined the family. I keep trying to give them 2 meals a day because things are getting difficult. There are 2 whose mother died in the earthquake. In that sense, I say to Plant With Purpose thank you because they helped me to give my family several hot meals. I ask God to show Plant With Purpose a way to have the means to continue to exist.- Franquer Delva, a Haitian woman who lives in the region of Kafe Lompre, Haiti. Before the earthquake there were 10 people in my house. I lived with a contented heart and everyone ate 2 or 3 times per day. After the earthquake my spirit is not at peace, and I live with a fearful heart. From time to time I feel like I am shaking even though no tremor has passed. My house was not destroyed but has some damage. I say to Plant With Purpose thank you for the first hot food we will eat and we see we will find a way to have food for several days. Now there are 18 people living in my house. It is only God who could guide everyone to work to get this food and other things to come. -Desire Lachand, a Haitian woman who lives in the region of Martel, Haiti
We have a great opportunity to make a huge difference in the communities where we have been working for the last thirteen years. These rural communities have seen a significant increase in the number of mouths to feed and family members to shelter. Help our 40 Haitian staff members provide immediate food aid and long-term food security to families in need. The planting season is quickly approaching! We are working with 2,500 farmers and their families (15,000-20,000 individuals, depending on further migration) and need your support! Please visit and share www.plantwithpurpose.org to be a part of what Plant With Purpose is doing in response to the earthquake in Haiti.
Thank you,
~The Plant With Purpose staff in the US and Haiti.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Update from PWP's Technical Director

Reposted from Bob Morikawa's blog, "Where is Bob?" (www.whereisbob.blogspot.com): One of the challenges of the field we work in is the weather. Rain-fed agriculture is totally dependent on, well, rain. And the rain waits for no one. And in the particular part of Haiti where we are planning our emergency reponse project, the rain could start any day now. In fact the other night there was a brief shower which hardly wet the ground, but is a sign of things to come. Fortunately, through our community partners, we already have a pretty decent seedling bank which was being prepared for the upcoming season before the earthquake. The inventory of these seedlings is being conducted this week, but our internal tree seedling capacity will be well over 100,000. We will augment this with a seedling purchase from a large commercial nursery in Port au Prince. The staff has divided up into teams to handle each of the main aspects of our emergency response, so we have as Seeds and Tools committee, a Soil Conservation committee, a Reforestation committee, a Road Repair committee, and a Food Distribution committee. Each committee is deploying to get us ready for what promises to be our most hectic season ever. Now, if only the funding would coincide with the weather...

Fast Facts: Dominican Republic

by Aly Lewis
Yes, today is Wednesday, but it is not going to be a Oaxaca Wednesday. Today I would like to highlight our program in the Dominican Republic. Plant With Purpose has been working in the DR for over 25 years and it is one of our most developed and expansive programs. 2,500 Dominican farmers in 51 communities have joined with Plant With Purpose to plant over 3.2 million--that's right, million--trees, receive over 2,000 loans, and start almost 300 Bible studies. With Plant With Purpose's encouragement, families are restoring their land, starting new businesses, and transforming their lives. Here are some fast facts about the DR and the problems Plant With Purpose seeks to address:
Dominican Republic Fast Facts:

Location: Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti

Population: 9,650,054

Total area: 48,320 sq km (more than twice the size of New Hampshire)

Population below poverty line: 42.2%

Religion: The Dominican Republic is 95.2% Christian, including 88.6% Roman Catholic and 4.2% Protestant.

Pollution: Bajos de Haina, 12 miles (19 km) west of Santo Domingo, was included on the Blacksmith Institute's list of the world's 10 most polluted places, due to lead poisoning by a battery recycling center closed in 1999.

The rural sector in the Dominican Republic is affected by high unemployment and poverty rates. Lack of economic opportunities is one of the many causes of poverty and migration to the cities. Adding to social and economic difficulties is environmental devastation, especially deforestation. Subsistence farmers rely heavily on revenues from cutting forest trees, but as mature trees run out, the farmers’ source of living also diminishes. They attempt to raise crops on the cleared land, but soil fertility has been compromised, and the land does not produce for long. As farmers find it increasingly difficult to generate revenues from the forests and the farms, they move to densely populated shantytowns on the outskirts of cities.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Providing Short-term Relief Options with Lasting Benefits

It’s almost been a month since a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, destroying buildings, killing thousands, and injuring and displacing even more. Our staff in Haiti has been working diligently to coordinate a comprehensive relief and recovery plan that will help Haitians get back on their feet and give them hope for the future.

A rapid assessment of our project areas indicates that family size in rural areas is increasing by approximately 40%, an increase from 5 to 6 members before the quake to well over 8 members. Recognizing the pressure this puts on these communities, Plant With Purpose is providing critical food aid for 2,800 families and coordinating road-clearing projects to allow access to remote villages.

In addition to food aid and road clearing, Plant With Purpose is beginning an immediate short-term employment and crop seed distribution program. This will provide much needed short-term income to affected households by providing jobs, as well as boost seasonal crop yields by providing appropriate and timely crop inputs. At the same time, this project will help farmers protect the already degraded soil and tree cover resources. This current planting season, which takes place from February to April, will be critical to re-establishing food supply to urban areas, as well as generating income for the rural areas and contributing to the rebuilding of communities.

The project includes:

Reforestation: We will employ 2,500 farmers to plant 350,000 trees in deforested regions to provide short-term employment and restore the land.

Soil and Water Conservation: We will utilize short-term employment teams to establish soil protection barriers on 3,400 acres of land to conserve soil and improve crop yields.

Emergency Assistance with Crop Inputs: We will supply 2,500 farmers with quality seeds and tools in order to improve families’ crop yields and increase food security.

These activities will extend and facilitate Plant With Purpose’s ongoing work of development and sustainable agriculture in the region and help families recover from the devastating earthquake.

We invite you to partner with Plant With Purpose to provide rural Haitians short-term recovery options with long-term benefits.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tending to Eden Blog Tour

Plant With Purpose will be launching a book blog tour for Scott's new book, Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God's People, on Wednesday, March 3! We are hoping that bloggers will either write a review, include excerpts of the book, include a Q & A with Scott, or we would be happy to guest post. Are you a blogger, or do you know someone who is? Please let us know if you are interested in reviewing Tending to Eden, and we would be happy to send you a galley copy! Email kate@plantwithpurpose.org. Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God's People offers a global perspective on the theological foundation for caring for the earth and its people. Throughout the book, PWP Executive Director Scott Sabin recounts his personal journey of helping the poor and the environment and brings the reader into poor rural communities in Haiti, Mexico, Tanzania, Burundi, the Dominican Republic, and Thailand through compelling language and eloquent story telling. The book also includes a creation care study guide. Here is a review on Tending to Eden from the Foreward: "After reading this very readable book with its powerful storytelling and its accessible survey of best practices in creation care, for the rest of your life you will see a bigger picture than you've ever seen before when it comes to matters of human poverty, health, prosperity, and security." --author, speaker, and pastor Brian McLaren

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