International Director of Madagascar
Born and raised in Madagascar as a missionary kid, Jamie learned early on how to handle himself in a tough situation. So he didn’t flinch when he was held at gunpoint by thugs whose loan sharking business he had damaged by providing jobs and economic self-sufficiency to people through our Employ to Plant program. Eventually, local leaders who strongly support Eden because of our contributions to the community intervened to free Jamie. And the next day he went back to work.
Jamie works directly with Malagasy communities and local leaders to support the restoration of the local environment and economy. The jobs, community development, and habitat restoration that come from our projects help keep families together, enable them to raise healthy, educated children, and to shield girls from predators, while also enlisting the whole community to protect the forests from poachers and natural threats to the trees’ survival.
Our simple planting techniques are easily replicated and implemented, empowering the community to plant and protect millions of trees every month. Through Jamie’s leadership and our Malagasy team’s commitment, we have planted over 572 million trees in Madagascar and are continuing to grow rapidly.
“People and the land are connected,” says Jamie. “If you don’t address poverty, deforestation increases. If you don’t tend to forests, poverty increases.”