The most important thing for us is the difference we make and the impact we have in the long run. Better Globe Forestry Ltd. (BGF) wants to contribute towards eradicating poverty in Africa by, among other methods, giving people opportunities to work and by creating lasting value with tree plantations and through education.
In order to be able to have the most positive impact possible, we in Better Globe Forestry Ltd. have seen the need to work on several fronts at the same time. These are some of the areas in which BGF have been able to influence in a very positive way.
We reduce the risk of families being split up
In many cases, the men in rural areas try to find work in the larger cities, but they seldom get further than the outskirts of the city. Instead they get stuck in the slums, where crime and drugs are present. They seldom, if ever, find a job, and are too proud to go back home and tell people that they failed.
This leads to many rural families being shattered. Many women are alone and the children are forced to help with providing for the family. This creates many consequences that lead to poverty, lack of education and no hope in the future, which in turn can lead to crime and so on.
Instead of forcing people to move away to find work, BGF create job opportunities where people already live, as we establish our plantations far out in the countryside. People who have never had a job can now work in dignified conditions and receive a regular salary and feel proud of being able to support themselves, their families, and contribute to the local community in different ways.
BGF also employ women to a large extent, which is unusual in these regions, and even rarer are the female supervisors at the nurseries. This is part of Better Globe Forestry Ltd’s work for social sustainability, as studies show that women contribute more to their families and communities than men, and since it is generally more difficult for women to find secure jobs in rural areas.
Rural women in Kenya are generally better at managing money responsibly, which means that the majority are women among those granted microloans by the microloan banks financed by Better Globe AS’ donation package buyers.
School and education, one of the most important steps out of poverty
If children do not get the opportunity to go to school, there is a great risk that they instead learn what their parents learned from their parents. In many cases, it involves corruption, and it often leads to inequalities and cemented poverty. We may not always be able to help adults do things in a new way and look for new opportunities, but starting with the children, we can build a dignified and sustainable foundation for communities that can be inherited for many generations to come.
The reason being that the school is a very important part of our work. We contribute with knowledge and financial resources to the renovation and construction of schools, often in close proximity to the plantations. In many cases we also help with planting trees on the school grounds with a view to helping the schools to become self-sufficient in the long run. The schools are then operated by non-profit organizations such as the foundation Child Africa.
The more trees planted, the more difference can be made
Deforestation is an enormous problem around the world, and despite the fact that many policymakers around the world are unanimous about this, what is done about it is not enough, nor fast enough. BGF have chosen to invest in commercial forestry in arid areas. It is more difficult to plant here compared to land that is already fertile.
The advantage is that we can leave the fertile ground to those who need it the most, while making a bigger difference by transforming large areas of semi-desert into lush forests. BGF contribute to having more trees planted on Earth and the more trees planted, the larger the difference that is made and the impact on our planet and the people living here.
The trees will help to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. To curb global warming which in part is caused by the Sun’s rays reaching the Earth unfiltered, without being caught by plants and thus converted trough photosynthesis. To stop the desertification caused by ever increasing numbers of trees being cut down, and of course also to create lots of jobs for poor people.
Achievements to date
There is much to be proud to have achieved so far, including:
- Planting a few thousand hectares of forest, with over 1.2 million trees
- Helping over 4 500 families with microcredit by financing microloan banks which we leave to others to operate. We just finance them.
- Cooperation with over 15 000 partner farmers (nov 1, 2019) who plant trees on their land, presently amounting to over 1 500 000 trees.
- Collaboration with Kenya’s largest power company KenGen regarding having plantations surrounding their dams to reduce erosion. A partnership has also been developed with their foundation called KenGen Foundation to help local communities with planting trees, and education among other things.
- Funding a more than EUR 509 000 project to improve the water situation.
- Employing over 150 people full time with benefits like health insurance, which is very rare in Kenya. More than 410 people are working part-time on the plantations.
- Collaboration with many local organizations, businesses and Government agencies.
- Funding the renovation of several schools, construction of two new schools and the purchase of one school. Which has given several hundred of children an opportunity to get access to education.
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