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We like to say that the solutions to poverty are found amongst the poor. The Forest of Hope, was an idea birthed by a group of HIV+ widows in rural Kenya to ensure stability for their children. Our model is simple. Trees are planted, and the generated revenues upon harvest are used to pay for the school fees or orphaned children.
So far we are growing eucalyphus and crypress trees on land in Kenya & Uganda, which are ready for harvest within 6-8 years. Sometimes we own the land the trees are planted on, and sometimes trees are grown in partnership with local landowners. Either way, the objective is the same. Orphans are able to go to school, a difference is made in combatting indigenous deforestation and global climate change, and the dignity of the local people is restored because the local orphans are being cared for by the local community with local resources. That is what we call empowerment.