The FH Halaba project tree nursery produces millions of tree, coffee and fruit seedlings planted on rugged hills, valleys and back yards of Oscar’s village.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN says one out of every four people on the planet relies on a forest for their livelihood. That’s 1.6 billion people.
Forests Provide More Than Pretty Trees
It’s not OK that we humans destroy 8.4 million acres of forest every single year. As forests disappear, millions of impoverished people lose a valuable source of food, fuel for cooking and heating, medicine, shelter and clothing.
And the planet suffers. Forests provide environmental benefits when they absorb the carbon dioxide that causes climate change, preserve the water cycle, prevent erosion and are home to a variety of plants and wildlife.
How Tree Nurseries Help
Food for the Hungry facilitates tree nurseries across the globe.
For Barhabula Ngwarhiro Ntondero (let’s call him Oscar) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a forest provided all of that, plus a roof over his family’s heads.
The more the forest was degraded, the more Oscar struggled to provide basic necessities for his wife and three children. Erosion and drought had spoiled his land to where he couldn’t grow enough food. The thatch-roof hut where they lived lost its covering when the land couldn’t even grow grass for straw.
It cost Oscar $2.50 to buy and transport just one of the 100 bundles of straw he needed to roof his hut and kitchen. His farming labor earned him less than $2.50 a day. That had to cover all expenses: food, clothing, water, education and something for emergencies.
Oscar describes a Food for the Hungry reforestation project as a godsend. “Before the reforestation, bush fires annually burned down the straw. When it grew back, the animals grazed and trampled it. I recently replenished the straw on my roof, and it cost me less than $100.”
The reforestation project not only brought back the usefulness of the land, but it gave a new source of income to Oscar and his neighbors.
“Today when we walk around in this wood, the air we breathe is good,” Oscar says. “These trees are beautiful to look at, and we know that when our trees are fully grown, it will be a great asset to my community. The initiative to plant trees protects our environment and our pockets because it helps to save money in small things.”
And That’s Not All!
Between September 2015 and October 2016, FH reforestation projects distributed 751,528 tree seedling for planting in DRC alone. We facilitate tree nurseries across the globe.