In the Sahel region of Africa trees are a lifeline for people as they survive droughts and floods where other crops might fail. They provide nutritious fruit. nuts and leaves all year round that make up a vital percentage of a families diet especially in rural areas where food poverty affects ¾ of the population.
Tree products such as fruit, shea butter, moringa, oil and nuts can be sold providing income to families to help pay for education and daily life essentials.
Most families rely on wood for cooking and building which has stripped the forest and bush land of trees. Tree cover in The Gambia has also declined due to colonial and economic exploitation. Reforest the Future educates communities, especially women, young people and farmers about restoring land, ecology and reversing desertification using permaculture and agroforestry practices.
Our projects aim to increase tree cover on community owned land, digging water retention trenches called swales to prevent top soil erosion and help retain water. Our tree nursery sites employ local people and grow edible, indigenous and medicinal trees and plants, working to bring back rare species, build soil fertility and increase biodiversity.
Young Environmental Change Gambia is our youth program which delivers an after school program teaching vegetable growing and tree planting activities for 8 - 10 year-olds. Each child is given their own plot to grow food for their families. Reforest the Future also partners with schools to deliver environmental education, tree planting days and build tree nurseries to provide more edible trees in and around schools and to integrate environmental education and stewardship into the curriculum.
By educating people and planting trees today we are improving local livelihoods and protecting and regenerating the environment for tomorrow.
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