As we approach the end of the year and the shops are already full of Christmas goods, it’s hard not to start thinking about gifts for the holiday season. Most of us like to treat our family and friends when holidays (particularly Christmas) come around, and we are also likely to be thinking about giving more widely as we consider how lucky we are for the things we have!
If you are thinking about making a donation to ITF this season, we’ve secured a fantastic opportunity to double the impact of your gift! Between the 28th November and the 5th December, we are taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge. Every donation made to our 20 Million Trees page on the Big Give website during the Challenge will be matched, up to £2,600. This means you have the chance to make your donation worth twice as much!
The money raised for 20 Million Trees over the holiday period will help fund the continued expansion of our work on Mount Kenya. Through our partnership with Mount Kenya Trust, farmers are earning incomes and improving their livelihoods while playing a vital part in the reforestation of northern Mount Kenya.
The farmers who take part in TELIS (Tree Establishment Livelihood Improvement Scheme) are allocated small parcels of land on the mountain to cultivate. In exchange, they plant rows of trees within their plots and care for them until the canopy begins to close. A new parcel of land is then allocated, gradually reforesting large areas of land.
Simon Kamuriu, one farmer taking part in the scheme, has already benefited from the increased income he makes from his plot. By selling the potatoes he grows, he has been able to pay for his children’s education, including university fees for three of them. He has also been able to buy two acres of land, where he keeps cattle and plans to build a house with this season’s profits.
Simon, who also forms part of the security team that protect the forest and the TELIS farms from damage by wildlife, loggers and poachers, highlights the project’s benefits:
“There has been a great economic impact for most people as well as a reduction in theft and other illegal activities within the forest. Most loggers, poachers and charcoal burners have been convinced to put their energy to use with lands to cultivate on and some have even volunteered to join the security team.”
By establishing many more TELIS plots, ITF hope to support Mount Kenya Trust to reforest almost 900 hectares of land in the north of Mount Kenya and to help over 1,000 farmers like Simon. Your donation can help us to rehabilitate this landscape and local ecosystem, while providing local people with a foundation for a better livelihood.
So, give yourself a reminder to visit the 20 Million Trees page on the Big Give from 28th November (Giving Tuesday) to 5th December and make a donation to have it doubled!