When people ask why we do what we do, we're proud to be able to tell them this story!
When we first met Maman’i Sisy, her third live-in husband had just abandoned her and her five children. So, once again, she and her kids were left destitute. Sadly, this pattern of getting married and being abandoned is quite commonplace in Madagascar. However, everything changed for Maman’i Sisy and her family when Eden Reforestation Projects hired her in October of 2007 to restore the heavily damaged forest surrounding her home village of Mahabana, Madagascar.
Today, Maman’i Sisy works as one of our reforestation team managers, and is making a sustainable wage that provides completely for her family. Her children are well cared for, and are excelling in school. Perhaps most significant, her daughters have been able to escape the tragic cycle of being married at 13, pregnant by 14, and abandoned by 16. Yes, there are still frustrations. For instance, Maman’i Sisy reports that on a regular basis, affluent businessmen offer to buy her daughters as a trophy wives since they are attractive, speak English, and are very well educated. Nevertheless, because Maman’i Sisy is now making enough money to take care of her children, she is able to respond with an emphatic "NO" to their offers. Being able to provide for her family in a dignified and sustainable manner is making a world of difference. Maman’i Sisy and others like her are a big reason why we do what we do!
The best part about what we have achieved together is knowing that Maman’i Sisy's family isn't the only one experiencing such amazing life changes. There are now hundreds of families in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Haiti, and Nepal who have similar stories. In addition, more than fifty million new mangrove trees that have been planted over the past eight years now surround Maman’i Sisy’s village of Mahabana! The other reason we do what we do comes from seeing whole forest systems restored. We report with joy that by the end of May 2015, Eden’s village employees will have collectively planted over 97 million trees across all of our reforestation sites. Please stop and think of all the people and places in those countries that have been radically transformed.
There is one final amazing part to the Eden story….it only costs $10 to plant 100 trees and provide someone like Maman’i Sisy with a full day of employment. To the best of our knowledge, no other group on the planet is able to plant and protect a forest for 10 cents a tree, with the end result being a restored, healthy forest system.
This is where we need your partnership. The work of planting millions of trees and saving thousands of lives isn't anywhere near completed, and we can't do what we do without your ongoing support. It's not too late to save the planet!