2014 Winter Sower


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The Sower is Plant With Purpose's Quarterly Publication

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2014 Winter Sower

  2. 2. DIRECTOR’S CORNER ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS TO HUMANITARIAN PROBLEMS THE SOWER ISSUE #102 Plant With Purpose, a Christian nonprofit organization, reverses deforestation and poverty around the world by transforming the lives of the rural poor. VSLA LEADERS COUNT THEIR GROUP’S SAVINGS IN OAXACA Plant With Purpose has been tracing a curve of exponential growth for some time. This has been easiest to see in our budget, but even steeper curves are emerging in the reach and impact of our programs and in our ability to measure that impact. In the past year, we expanded our work in Mexico beyond Oaxaca into the state of Chiapas, where we have now established an office. From Burundi, we have also begun plans to start working across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, even more important is the process of bringing to scale what we are already doing in the communities where we work. In Tanzania, 37 new Village Savings and Loan Associations were formed in the last quarter, bringing the total to 170 groups serving over 4,400 families, while in Burundi the number of groups grew from 51 to 89, despite some budget setbacks. This growth has required a dramatic increase in efficiency. We have been able to drop our cost per family to less than half of what it was just a couple of years ago, as we have continued working to steward the precious financial resources with which we are entrusted. Worldwide we are now serving nearly 100,000 individuals in 331 villages. Because of the empowerment model that is fundamental to our work, this means we now have 100,000 allies working alongside us in the fight against poverty, environmental degradation, and spiritual blindness. For example, VSLA members in Tanzania planted 1.4 million trees last year, greatly multiplying anything we would have 2 been able to do on our own. Similarly, partnering churches are reaching out into their communities, offering Bible studies and practical service, and seeing impressive growth as a result. To measure the impact of all this work we have a number of annual indicators and conduct extensive impact evaluations every three years. In our last evaluation we learned, for example, that waterborne illness had been dramatically reduced in watersheds where we had been working—up to 50 percent in some cases. We also saw huge improvements in crop yields and savings rates. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Scott Sabin scott@plantwithpurpose.org However, we have been diligently working to develop better and more frequent objective measurements of impact. One of those involves using satellite imagery to measure vegetation change over time. A recent analysis of that data has showed a dramatic correlation between the locations of the Plant With Purpose communities and increase in tree cover and vegetation. This study is still being compiled as The Sower goes to press, but it is exciting to get a glimpse of what partnering communities around the world are accomplishing. STAY CONNECTED: 4903 Morena Blvd. Suite 1215 San Diego, CA 92117 As we work to increase the impact of our program, we know that it is all possible because of your support. Your gifts and your prayers are changing lives in real and lasting ways. EMAIL MEDIA@PLANTWITHPURPOSE.ORG TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN: • Share your Plant With Purpose story • Host an event • Become a Plant With Purpose advocate This season as we celebrate the gift of Jesus, who came to earth to transform lives, we are also thankful that together we are involved in God’s ongoing, life-changing work through Plant With Purpose. Scott Sabin Executive Director DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR: Doug Satre doug@plantwithpurpose.org MARKETING AND EVENTS: Becky Rosaler becky@plantwithpurpose.org Ph: 800.633.5319 Email: info@plantwithpurpose.org Web: plantwithpurpose.org Tw: @PlantWPurpose Fb: facebook.com/PlantWithPurpose Leave a Legacy. Please consider including Plant With Purpose in your wills and bequests. Contact Doug Satre: doug@plantwithpurpose.org.   copyright © 2013 Plant With Purpose
  3. 3. GIFTS OF HOPE Uncommon gifts–a cheeping chick, breeding bunnies, a family garden–provide extraordinary benefits to families living in poor, rural communities around the world. Take Mrs. Eleazar Pacheco Hernandez, a wife and mother living in Monte Flor, Mexico, for example. Eleazar tends to the family’s vegetable garden and their chickens. Vegetables from the garden provide a stable diet with the eggs, increasing the consumption of protein for her children. The sale of surplus produce and eggs has allowed Eleazar to increase her income. She even purchased a garden hose, which allows her to water her garden with greater ease while also expanding its size. Eleazar credits Plant With Purpose for improving her ability to provide for her children. This Christmas, you can help families like the Hernandezes change their circumstances. Plant With Purpose’s online Gift Catalog provides the opportunity to give the Gift of Hope to families in need on behalf of someone you love! CLUTCH OF 5 CHICKS $10 GIVE NUTRITION TO A FAMILY Chickens give families a sustainable supply of nutrition and income. Eggs provide muchneeded protein for hungry children and can be sold at market. Your donation will purchase 5 chicks and training for a family in need. A FAMILY GARDEN $50 GIVE SEEDS OF HOPE A family garden represents sustainable hope to a poor family. Vegetables add nutrition to family diets and provide income. Your donation of $50 will help a family establish a garden and provide training in sustainable gardening methods. PAIR OF RABBITS $20 GIVE NUTRITION TO A FAMILY Rabbits are ideal for families because of their ability to reproduce quickly, providing protein-rich food, fertilizer for crops, and a source of income. Your gift will provide a family with two breeding rabbits and training in how to best care for them. SAVINGS-LED MICROFINANCE $50 GIVE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY Poor, rural families are not looking for handouts. They’re looking to change their circumstances. Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) provide financial safety nets and create opportunity. Your gift of $50 provides economic training and materials. VISIT PLANTWITHPURPOSE.ORG/GIFTS for the complete online catalog and to print a special card to tell loved ones about the gift given on their behalf. You can also mail your donation to Plant With Purpose in the envelope provided. FUEL-EFFICIENT STOVE $30 GIVE THE GIFT OF HEALTH Half the world’s families cook meals on open-flame stoves that cause premature death and rampant deforestation. The gift of an improved wood-saving stove can help restore health to families and forests. CHURCH-LED DISCIPLESHIP $50 GIVE SPIRITUAL RENEWAL We believe the church is a key instrument of change in a community. Plant With Purpose programs are equipping local congregations to teach and to live out Christ’s gospel among their neighbors. Your gift of $50 will provide Bible study curriculum for a church and training for a pastor and church leaders. WWW.PLANTWITHPURPOSE.ORG 3
  4. 4. HUNGER TO HARVEST HOW PLANT WITH PURPOSE IS HELPING TO FEED FAMILIES WOMEN IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PREPARE FOOD GROWN ON THEIR FARM PHOTO CREDIT: AARONCHANG.COM Imagine entering the holiday season with little to celebrate. As a tough year comes to a close for impoverished families around the world, too many parents are forced to make life-or-death decisions. Do they spend the little money they have to send their child to school or to put food on the table? Do they sell their livestock for a short-term solution, causing further suffering down the road? Needless to say, Christmas presents are not an option as parents find alternative ways to celebrate the gift of Jesus. THE HUNGER ISSUE Around the world, 870 million people go hungry each and every day–that’s one out of eight people. Poverty and hunger are deeply interconnected issues. Burundi is the hungriest country in the world (2013 Global Hunger Index). More than 73 percent of the population is undernourished (World Food Programme, 2012). During the recent civil conflict, disease harmed seeds and existing crops. Drought has left the BURUNDI IS THE HUNGRIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. 4 land unproductive with crops growing inconsistently. This has left few options for food as mothers and fathers returned to fields that fail to produce enough to eat. A Plant With Purpose farmer association member from the Rutana province shares, “The stomach that goes to bed hungry wakes up jealous. The physical effects of ” a hungry stomach convolutes the ability to think, further trapping the poor in despair. FOOD MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE But a little food can change everything. Proper nutrition equips the human body to fully function and children to grow and learn. Food fuels our ability to focus, energizes us to work, and brings people together. Plant With Purpose is working to help parents put food on their tables. However, rather than offering handouts for short-term solutions, Plant With Purpose provides training, seeds, and opportunity to bring a long-term solution to hunger. Marko Philip was desperate for a solution to hunger. At 35 years old, Marko is married to Paulina, and they are blessed with three children ages 4, 8, and 11. The cou- “THE STOMACH THAT GOES TO BED HUNGRY WAKES UP JEALOUS.” ple struggled with poverty in their community of Gonjanza, Tanzania. Growing what they could to put food on the table proved unsuccessful after five years of inconsistent rains left little to harvest. Marko and Paulina’s main source of food became maize and beans. Coffee trees grew old and tired. A small quantity of beans meant little left to sell for income. In the prime of his life, Marko felt utterly defeated. In 2009, Plant With Purpose began to work with farming families in Gonjanza. “We were trained on the importance of conserving our soil through contours, producing organic vegetables through the use of double dug garden beds, tree planting, and the management of livestock and chickens, as well as importance of savings-and-loan groups, ” Marko shares. When he put to use the
  5. 5. EMPTY MARKET STALLS IN HAITI. PHOTO CREDIT: AARON.CHANG.COM DEFINING HUNGER A COUPLE IN GONJANZA STAND PROUDLY IN THE GARDEN NEXT TO THEIR HOUSE. training he received, he saw an increase in his annual income. Much of this increase is the result of raising livestock and chickens, and better management of his land. MOTHERS AND FATHERS FEEDING THE WORLD Like Marko, Joseph Saint Jean Claudius wants to increase his family’s resources so he can better respond to their needs. Joseph and his family of four live in Baryè, Haiti. Hunger is an issue in Haiti where more than 44 percent of Haiti’s population is undernourished (World Food Programme, 2012). Reports share that 85-90 percent of Haitians depend on what they can grow to feed their families and earn an income. These families are left to farm steep hillsides where there is a loss of topsoil due to deforestation, which makes things tough for fathers like Joseph to provide for his family. Since Plant With Purpose got involved in Baryè, Joseph has been learning how to make his farm produce more effectively. “Because my farm is no longer eroding, I have more crop yields. Thanks to Plant With Purpose Haiti, now I have more crops and more income too.” Joseph is also involved in a Village Savings and Loan Association, where he puts his newfound income to work. “I used the loans to buy animals and seeds and to pay school fees for my children. These small improvements ” represent huge steps toward a brighter tomorrow for Joseph’s family. Working with resilient mothers and fathers to grow food to feed their families is at the heart of Plant With Purpose. Parents are putting food on the table. Better nutrition helps their children succeed. Together, healthier communities are established—communities free from hunger and on the path out of poverty. So as we celebrate this season of Jesus, the Bread of Life, coming to live among us as Savior and King, let us remember that He also called us to feed the hungry. Plant With Purpose is doing just that for people like Marko and Paulina, Joseph and his family, and thousands of farming families around the world. Undernourishment is the status of people whose food intake regularly provides less than their minimum energy requirements. For the average person, that means consuming fewer than 1,800 kilocalories a day, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Global Hunger Index (GHI) takes into account undernourishment, underweight children, and child mortality. 73.4 Percentage of people without enough to eat in Burundi 44.5 Percentage of people without enough to eat in Haiti 38.8 Percentage of people without enough to eat inTanzania 70 Percentage of families around the world who depend on what they can grow to feed their children 16,000 The number of children who die every day due to hungerrelated causes 25:35 The verse in the Bible’s book of Matthew where Jesus says, “For I was hungry and you gave me food. ” *Information from World Food Program (2012), IFAD (2011), Bread for the World WWW.PLANTWITHPURPOSE.ORG 5
  6. 6. PLANTING HOPE GALA A HUGE SUCCESS The 2013 Planting Hope Gala was a phenomenal success with over $337,000 raised to invest in the lives of the rural poor! We are grateful to those who attended, and we are deeply humbled by your generosity, passion, and commitment to the work of Plant With Purpose. Thank you to everyone who made the night possible! SCOTT SABIN AT IDEACAMP This fall, a group gathered in Austin, Texas, to talk about the concept of Human Care. Scott Sabin spoke into the idea that Creation Care is Human Care. To learn about other events and conference where Plant With Purpose will be, check out plantwithpurpose.org/events. BLACK FRIDAY, CYBER MONDAY, GIVING TUESDAY The day following the purchasing frenzy associated with Thanksgiving weekend comes Giving Tuesday—a day to focus on giving back either financially or 6 through a donation of time. Be watching for an email from Plant With Purpose offering ideas on how you can participate in Giving Tuesday this year. CHRISTMAS TREES, PLEASE Christmas gives us a unique way to appreciate trees: by bringing them into our homes to adorn. This Christmas, in addition to purchasing a Christmas tree, donate a dollar to plant a tree in a rural community. Visit plantwithpurpose.org/trees for more details. THE JUSTICE CONFERENCE The Justice Conference is returning to the West Coast. Join us in Los Angeles on February 21-22, 2014 for a two-day conference that engages conversations on the compex issues surrounding justice. Leave inspired by those combating injustice and with tools to join the effort. YOU SHOP, AMAZON GIVES Amazon has rolled out a new service for conscious buyers, called Amazon Smile. Shopping on Amazon Smile is essentially the same as shopping on Amazon.com, except that 0.5% of all purchases through Amazon Smile will be donated to a nonprofit of your choice—including Plant With Purpose. Bookmark smile.amazon.com, sign in with your current amazon.com account, and give back to Plant With Purpose while shopping on Amazon. UPCOMING VISION TRIPS If you haven’t visited one of Plant With Purpose’s programs, we’d love for you to consider joining us. Contact Doug Satre for more information: doug@ plantwithpurpose.org. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: MARCH 23-29, 2014 HAITI:     MAY 5-11, 2014 BURUNDI: MAY 4-14, 2014   
  7. 7. VILLAGE SPOTLIGHT: PANG TUAY, THAILAND CHILDREN PLAYING GAMES IN THEIR HOMETOWN OF PANG TUAY Like all supportive parents, when asked This group of ethnic Lahu—one of the six major source of livelihood. A recent study by what they hope to see in the years ahead, hill tribes in Thailand—originally put down their Plant With Purpose shows that this pro- the parents in Pang Tuay describe bet- roots in Pang Tuay while seeking a peaceful gram, known as Community Managed ter opportunities for their children. These place to build their lives. Unfortunately, Thai cit- Forests, encourages better protection of parents understand that education will izenship is not granted at birth, and land owner- the forest because people depend on it provide a better future for their sons and ship is directly connected to citizenship. For the for their survival. daughters. But the distance to schools past 15 years, the community of Pang Tuay has is not the only challenge that families in been living on land where at any time they face Plant With Purpose is working with the Pang Tuay face. the threat of once again having to move. Pang Tuay community to increase their Imagine establishing your home and set- Despite this threat, the people of Pang Tuay are community forestry, land rights, agro- tling in an area only to be told you have making a home for themselves on the hillsides. forestry, and replenishing streams with to uproot and move. Forced relocations Plant With Purpose Thailand has been working fish. These resources are creating great- have uprooted the entire community of with this community to develop a program of er stability and are helping families build Pang Tuay three times in the past 40 years. caring for the local forest, which is the primary toward a hopeful future. knowledge of environmental issues, Dario Baez Enemencio’s partnership with Today, his family’s situation is differ- Plant With Purpose Dominican Republic has ent. Dario learned to diversify his farm changed his life. He celebrates with the com- by planting lemon, mandarin, and eu- munity of Piedra Blanca as they “graduate” calyptus trees alongside vegetables. from Plant With Purpose’s program—evi- As a result, his income increased. “I dence that they have been equipped and em- used to live in a thatch house,” he says, powered to improve their quality of life using “but now I have my own concrete block their own God-given talents and resources. house with a concrete roof. My family is more financially stable.” Before, Dario says, “My financial situation was bad. I lived in a cottage and had a small income. I just planted yucca. In most cases PIEDRA BLANCA GRADUATES! Beyond his family’s improved economic well-being, Dario has experienced spiri- it wasn’t profitable because I could not find tual transformation. “I had never visit- buyers. My land had little value, and I didn’t ed a church before,” he says. “I went for have enough knowledge in cultivation tech- the first time and I really liked it. I at- niques to develop a profitable farm. I didn’t tend more frequently now.” know God, nor did I attend church. ” WWW.PLANTWITHPURPOSE.ORG 7
  8. 8. Plant With Purpose 4903 Morena Blvd. Suite 1215 San Diego, CA 92117 We use soy-based ink and 80# environment text with 80% post-consumer fiber. FSC certified. Ph: 800.633.5319 Email: info@plantwithpurpose.org NON-PROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT 751 SAN DIEGO CA www.plantwithpurpose.org This Christmas: Give gifts that change lives. Information inside or at plantwithpurpose.org/gifts. TWO GIRLS IN HAITI SMILE FOR THE CAMERA YOU CAN GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT CHANGE THE FUTURE FOR CHILDREN THIS CHRISTMAS PHOTO CREDIT: AARON.CHANG.COM THANKS FOR YOUR PARTNERSHIP IN 2013