From Slave to Surplus....Jean Paul's Story


Jean Paul is one of Eden Reforestation Projects’ managers who first began working at our Mahabana Estuary site between 2008 and 2010. Jean Paul agreed to move to Kalamboro at the start of the expansion project to help initiate the Kalamboro planting effort.  The consistent income from Eden has dramatically improved his life and family. 


One of Jean Paul’s former income sources came from cutting down thousands of mangrove trees every year. The labor was incredibly difficult and he typically received only ten cents per tree. Quite often, he never received the promised payment.  

After being taken advantage of on a regular basis as a mangrove lumber supplier, Jean Paul started fishing for one of the local fish lords who entrapped him into debt bondage. He struggled to feed his family and his children became malnourished. Tragically, two of his children, one around 10 years old and the other around 3 years old, died of starvation. But this sad story has a hopeful ending. Since being hired by Eden Reforestation Projects, Jean Paul has paid off all his debt and as you have already read, his family and economic circumstances have improved greatly.

Through saving a portion of his salary, Jean Paul was able to purchase rice fields near Kalamboro in 2011.  In 2014, his rice fields produced over 1500 kilos of rice! The rice is sold for added income and used by his family to sustain them throughout the year.

Today, all of his children are enrolled in school because he can now afford the cost of tuition as well as the required school supplies.  Prior to working with Eden, none of Jean Paul’s children were enrolled in school since all their money was used for mere survival. Education for children was not an option. In addition, Jean Paul has been able to purchase his own outrigger canoe, and he now has a nice strong Malagasy house.  Jean Paul effectively manages a team of ten planters and inspires them to take their job of planting trees and caring for the environment around them seriously.

Jean Paul was trapped in the talons of poverty that were literally stealing life from his family. Today, he stands tall as a father who provides for his family simply because he has a job that gives him purpose. 

Plant Trees - Save Lives

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