2007 Annual Report, Floresta - Healing the Land and Its People
Mission StatementFloresta, a Christian non-profit organization, reverses deforestationand poverty in the world by transforming the lives of the rural poor.We teach, we plant, we create enterprise, and we share the gospel.
from the director In the last couple of years there has in places where vicious cycles existed before. In so doing been a subtle but massive change we are solving two enormous problems that taken by in the way that Christians see themselves seem intractable. The big idea is that it is environmental issues. For most of actually easier to address both problems together than the fourteen years I have been at it is to take them on one at a time. This is pretty unique, Floresta, I have frequently faced an and I think it is what sets Floresta apart from most other uphill battle, explaining why Floresta organizations and solutions. is working on reforestation to peoplewho thought it was superfluous. Many times, I felt I was Almost as important is the idea that the poor are thewalking into meetings with potential donors carrying a most important allies in solving these problems andhuge liability: trees. These donors, who might have been probably the greatest untapped resource on earth. Theyinterested in our evangelistic work, or our work fighting have the skills, insight and vested interest in solving theirhunger, often saw the environmental aspect of Floresta problems. They have far more intelligence and initiativewith some suspicion, or at best, amused indifference. than people give them credit for. Often they only lack tools, opportunities or even just self-confidence. Yet farBut that has largely changed. Suddenly what we do is too often those who want to fight poverty see the poormainstream - even cool. New voices for God’s creation as an obstacle. The temptation is to try to solve theirhave sprung up all over the place. New books have been problems for them without involving them. One of thewritten. New conferences are being held. Many of the most important things we can do is empower the poor tobig Christian agencies are beginning to incorporate realize and use their God-given talents to change theirenvironmental programs into their work. And the communities and restore their land.Church is waking up to its stewardship responsibilities.Throughout the past year, as I visited with foundations, All of this new interest in the environment is exciting. Itpastors and Christian leaders, I heard a very different provides some tremendous possibilities for Floresta toreaction than the one I have grown used to. People are grow and reach more people, as well as to share what weactively looking for ways to make a difference for the have learned, thereby blessing others. Humanitarianenvironment and to get their congregations involved in agencies, Christian and secular, are beginning to addresscreation care. environmental issues, because they have to. Similarly, environmental agencies are beginning to addressThere is sometimes still a perception that it is all about humanitarian and spiritual issues, because they havepolitics, but of course Floresta has never been about to. To my knowledge, Floresta is the only organizationpolitics. Regardless of which way you vote, you can still designed from the ground up to work at the intersectionfight global warming and deforestation by working with us of the two. We look forward to sharing some lessonto plant in Africa or Mexico. And you can plant trees that learned from nearly a quarter century of healing the landwill save lives or keep a family in the Dominican Republic and its people. It is an exciting opportunity.or Thailand from going hungry. Thank you for your support.I think that is one of the ways in which Floresta remainsunique. Our special contribution is the idea that we can Sincerely,make environmental restoration profitable for the ruralpoor at the same time we are making poverty reductionbeneficial for the environment. That is the Floresta idea.In other words, we are creating virtuous cycles or spirals Scott Sabin
The second half of Floresta’s mission statement, “We teach, we plant, we create enterprise, and we share the gospel,” reflects the four primary tools we use to break the cycle of poverty: Community Development, Innovative Agriculture and Forestry, Credit, and Discipleship. We teach – Community Development is the process of empowerment. Floresta’sabout floresta program encourages rural communities to take ownership of their own problems,Floresta was founded in 1984 by Tom giving them the self-confidence to seek out and apply local solutions. The rural poorWoodard, who saw that much of the must believe and trust in the abilities they have been gifted with, and must havehuman misery in the tropics was rooted ownership of the process of development. This takes time, but results are profoundin deforestation. At the same time, much and long lasting.of this deforestation stemmed from a lackof economic opportunities, creating a We plant – Innovative Agriculture and Forestry enable farmers to make thevicious cycle from which farmers saw little best possible use of the assets they already possess. Absence of vegetation results inhope of escape. While working on a relief severe erosion, poor water retention/spring replenishment, and low productivity.project, Woodard realized that problems Floresta provides training in agroforestry systems that work more efficiently in suchof extreme poverty, hunger, and economic environments. For example, fruit trees provide food and a cash crop; woody perennialdecline were not being solved, but trees are planted as an investment in the longevity of the forest; and nitrogen-fixingworsening. Extensive research indicated trees supply nutrients to the depleted soil. In addition, planting trees providesthat deforestation and the subsequent loss restored ground cover and living barriers that reduce erosion.of soil fertility were primary causes. As part of its sustainable agriculture development, Floresta works with farmers toMotivated by Christ’s love and His construct cisterns, which provide a reliable water source while helping to mitigatecommand to help the poor, Woodard erosion. Floresta also assists farmers in caring for and vaccinating livestock through aand his colleagues created Floresta to program of veterinary training. Maintaining livestock often provides a way for farmersmeet the environmental, economic, to expand their farms and diversify income sources.and spiritual needs of rural peoplein the Dominican Republic. Floresta We create enterprise – Credit helps people to progress beyond baredesigned holistic programs to address and subsistence, as well as to diversify village economies that are often entirely dependentreverse the vicious cycle of poverty and on charcoal or firewood production. Microenterprise credit is the world’s mostdeforestation, replacing it with an upward effective poverty fighter, and Floresta finances a broad range of environmentallyspiral of economic growth, environmental sustainable and economically viable businesses and agricultural projects, offeringrestoration, and real hope through a reasonable interest rates and making it possible for even the poorest of farmers togrowing relationship with Jesus Christ. qualify for a “hand up, not a handout.” Floresta also utilizes highly effective villageAs the success of this program became community banking systems, which provide credit to community members andapparent and Floresta’s vision began to promote financial independence.grow, this unique work spread to otherareas where deforestation and poverty We share the gospel – Discipleship occurs through long-term relationshipsare closely connected. In addition to that are formed as the Floresta staff works closely with individuals and communitythe original program in the Dominican leaders. Through the witness of our field chaplains and other staff members, peopleRepublic, Floresta is now operating hear the good news of Jesus Christ, grow in their faith, and develop skills as servantsuccessful programs in Mexico, Haiti, leaders within their communities. While Floresta aims to make discipleship anTanzania, and Thailand. integrated component of regular teachings and community interactions, the love and opportunities we share are unconditional: participation in any of its programs isIn each of these countries, Floresta works not contingent upon faith, nor does Floresta require participation in Bible studies orwith a partner organization comprised church services.of a highly qualified indigenous teamwith a strong call to Christian service. At Floresta, we are often reminded of the old saying: “If you give a man a fish, you feedThese organizations are responsible for him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” Floresta is notthe operation and oversight of Floresta’s only teaching him (and her) to fish, but teaching him to stock the pond, and to sayprograms. Partners collaborate closely grace before he eats it!with Floresta USA and are monitored foraccountability.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Dominican Republic Continuing in partnership with its Dominican sister organization Floresta Incorporada, Floresta’s longest running field program made impressive strides in 2007, particularly in the area of discipleship. Floresta Incorporada has a well-developed capacity for local fundraising, and a large portion of the program’s budget is raised in-country, with the remainder provided by Floresta USA. Work is ongoing in 41 communities north of Santo Domingo, and this year expanded to the Haitian border, where staff from Floresta DR devoted significant time and talent helping establish the Dominican half of the Trans Border Project. • As part of a long-term reforestation effort, participants in the Floresta program planted 168,420 trees across a total area of 300 acres. • 152 new micro-enterprise loans were made, in the total amount of $32,983, for the purpose of helping local program participants begin, maintain, and expand small businesses. In addition, 67 microenterprise loans were repaid in the total amount of $40,336 (including interest). • Floresta granted 80 new agroforestry loans, in the total amount of $34,246. In addition, 25 previously granted agroforestry loans were repaid, in the total amount of $23,314. • The Discipleship Program added 81 new Bible study groups and trained 56 new individuals to lead the 438 members of these studies. As a result of discipleship efforts, 433 people made a personal commitment to follow Christ. • Floresta partnered with 56 churches to organize and train 277 individuals to lead regularly meeting Bible study groups. At the end of the fiscal year, 1,491 individuals were participating in one of 186 Floresta-sponsored community Bible studies. • Floresta began an egg production project in 9 communities, providing farmers with 1,240 chickens. These in turn produced 22,289 eggs, which helped improve community nutrition and provided farmers with an additional source of revenue. • Dominican Republic staff officially established a new project on the Haitian border, setting up an office and dedicated staff in the region of Sabana Real. During its pilot year, the Dominican portion of the Trans Border Project resulted in 96,729 trees planted, the establishment of a new church partnership, and the formation of 3 Bible studies. Lifetime totals Trees planted: 2,574,348“If you teach a man to fish, you feed Agroforestry loans granted: 497 Microenterprise loans granted: 435him for a lifetime.” Floresta is notonly teaching him to fish, but teachinghim to stock the pond, and to saygrace before he eats it!
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTSMexico HaitiFloresta continued partnership with its Mexican sister Floresta continued to work in the mountains of Southernorganization, Misión Integral, in the five Oaxacan Haiti in the region of Gran Colline. Work also extended to themunicipalities of San Andrés Nuxiño, Santa Inés Zaragoza, Dominican border for the second year, as Floresta Haiti staffSanto Domingo Nuxaá, San Juan Tamazola, and Magdalena played an instrumental role in helping to further establish theirJaltepec. A spirit of innovation and experimentation among nation’s half of Floresta’s Trans Border Project.the communities was evident in several new, successfulprojects implemented during the course of the year, including • Participants in Floresta’s programs planted 24,318tomato and mushroom farms, a fish raising project, and trees in reforestation projects.the construction of numerous ecological latrines and water • 2,737 fruit trees were grafted.harvesting systems. • Credit cooperatives granted 372 new micro-enterprise loans to members, in the total amount of $43,934. • 45,603 trees were planted across 95 acres of land to • 42 miles of anti-erosion barriers were constructed to counter deforestation, bringing the lifetime total of control soil erosion on otherwise vulnerable hillsides. trees planted through Floresta Mexico to 300,826. • 674 compost piles were established, providing healthy • 35,670 seedlings were produced in local tree nurseries organic soil to use as fertilizer for farms and family for reforestation and agroforestry efforts. gardens. • 97 new microenterprise loans, in the total amount • Farmers were trained to vaccinate and care for 3,689 of $9,633, were granted to program participants. 74 livestock. previously granted loans were repaid, in the total • Together with team members from Floresta Dominican amount of $9,867. Republic, Haitian staff officially established a new • 16 new agroforestry farms were established. On these project on the Dominican border, working with 135 farms, trees are grown alongside food and other farmers. During its pilot year, the program resulted in cash crops for the purpose of establishing mutually 128 compost piles established, 110 fruit trees grafted, beneficial relationships that enrich the soil and 1.2 miles of soil conservation barriers constructed, and improve crop yields. 8,277 trees planted. • Floresta worked with families to construct 17 new fuel- efficient stoves, helping to improve air quality, lower the risk of respiratory illness, and significantly decrease Lifetime totals the amount of wood needed for cooking and heating. Trees planted: 191,116 • 22 new family gardens were established, in which a Fruit trees grafted: 10,843 variety of vegetables and fruits were grown. Harvests Loans granted: 2,630 provide families with improved nutrition and an additional source of income. • 6 new cisterns were constructed, providing communities with ready access to water for household use and to help grow their family gardens and tree nurseries. • Floresta established 4 new mushroom farms and a new tomato greenhouse to improve the local diet and give farmers an alternative source of income. • 74 new ecological latrines were built. These latrines provide sanitary, environmentally-friendly systems of waste management in which potentially toxic waste is contained and converted to safe, organic fertilizer.Lifetime totalsTrees planted: 300,826Seedlings grown: 452,167Loans granted: 312
Tanzania United StatesFloresta’s newest program in Tanzania continued to expand • Floresta provided consulting services to each ofand develop during its third year of operation, working the overseas programs and was active in planning,with over one thousand farmers and their families. Floresta evaluating, and monitoring each of the programs.introduced a Village Community Banking (VICOBA) system • Floresta provided vision, leadership, and coordinationfor distributing microcredit loans, which was met with for the Haitian and Dominican programs as theyenthusiastic support and resulted in a number of new economic developed the Trans Border Project.opportunities, particularly for Tanzanian women. • Staff and other representatives from Floresta USA participated in various projects and conferences • Floresta worked with community members to establish around the world, providing expertise on community 34 tree nurseries for the purpose of growing new development, on the interface between microfinance seedlings for reforestation and agroforestry efforts. and the environment, and on the Christian call to care By the end of the fiscal year, these nurseries housed a for the environment. supply of 54,405 seedlings. • Floresta held its annual auction and dinner at the • 75,351 trees were planted in reforestation efforts, Hyatt Islandia in San Diego. bringing the program’s lifetime total of trees planted • Floresta received grants from the following to 147,514. foundations • Floresta worked with Tanzanian communities to • Danellie Foundation operate a total of 9 Village Community Banking • Wellspring Trust (VICOBA) groups, which collectively distributed 164 • West Foundation loans in the total amount of $17,083. Group members • The Servants Trust contributed $16,231 of their own funds to use for these • Tyndale House Foundation loans. • Alternative Gifts International • Floresta provided communities with 17 rainwater- • Stewardship Foundation harvesting cisterns, providing farmers with improved access to water for household and garden use. Thailand • 551 improved, fuel-efficient stoves were provided In partnership with the Upland Holistic Development Project to community households for cooking and heating, (UHDP), a Christian organization specializing in agroforestry, reducing local wood consumption and improving Floresta worked with farmers in the northern hilltribes, respiratory health among community members. providing training in agroforestry and sustainable farming, as • Floresta worked with farmers to construct 7 miles of well as on-site research support. living barriers, protecting 7 watersheds from potential soil erosion. • As a result of the partnership, more than 100 farmers • 1660 bio-intensive vegetable gardens were established, have begun to adopt agroforestry and sustainable providing fresh vegetables and a source of income that farming practices. allows even the poorest families to participate in the • 69 individuals joined Floresta and UHDP’s network of VICOBA groups. agroforestry farmers. • Backyard agriculture workshops assisted over 100 families, promoting home gardens and the raising ofLifetime totals pigs and catfish.Trees planted: 147,514 • Expanded and improved village water systems providedParticipating farmers: 1,450 8 communities with year-round access to clean water.Improved stoves: 863 • Microfinance programs benefited over 80 families, providing them with loans for livestock and small business enterprises. • Over 2,000 women participated in capacity building workshops and trainings in handicraft production. • Floresta provided UHDP with technical support in agroforestry and microfinance, assisting in related village based plant trials and staff and network member trainings.
Floresta USA Incorporated Financial StatementsJune 30, 2007 and 2006Statements of Activities 2007 2006 Temporarily Unrestricted Restricted Total TOTAL Revenue and Support: General Donations $1,463,656 $1,463,656 $1,239,900 Interest and dividend income 13,317 13,317 10,131 Net assets released from restrictions 38,457 (38,457) - - Total Revenue $1,515,430 ($38,457) $1,476,973 $1,250,031 Expenses: Program activities: Dominican Republic $ 308,622 $308,622 $247,088 Mexico 237,828 237,828 198,655 Haiti 304,546 304,546 231,339 Tanzania 137,754 137,754 122,905 Other Countries 30,647 30,647 43,671 U.S Awareness & Education 247,657 247,657 144,867 Total program activities $1,267,054 $1,267,054 85.04% $988,525 85.83% Supporting activities: General and administrative $104,330 $104,330 7.00% $ 77,594 6.73% Fundraising 118,630 118,630 7.96% 85,589 7.43% Total supporting activities $222,960 222,960 $163,183 Total Expenses: $1,490,014 $1,490,014 100% $1,151,708 100% Change in net assets $25,416 ($38,457) ($13,041) $98,323Net assets, beginning of year $218,681 $115,370 $334,051 $235,728Net assets, end of year $244,097 $ 76,913 $321,010 $334,051 Dominican Republic 21% Haiti 20% Mexico 16% Fundraising 8% Administrative 7% Tanzania 9% U.S Awareness & Education 17% Other Countries 2%
Statements of Financial Position 2007 2006Assets Cash and cash equivalents $184,995 $116,037 Contributions receivable 1,667 - Investments 175,000 175,000 Investment in Los Arbolitos* 28,307 28,307 Prepaid Expenses 18,161 - Rent deposit 1,850 1,850 Property & equipment, net 16,675 16,352 Intangible Assets, net 5,278 - Total Assets $431,933 $337,546 Liabilities and Net Assets Liabilities: Accounts payable and accrued expenses $21,338 $3,495 Sales Tax Payable 377 - Deferrred Revenue 89,208 - Total Liabilities $110,923 $3,495Net Assets: Unrestricted $244,097 $218,681 Temporarily unrestricted 76,913 115,370 Total Net Assets $321,010 $334,051 Total Liabilities and Net Assets $431,933 $337,546 *Los Arbolitos is a for-profit tree nursery in the Dominican Republic, jointlyowned by Floresta USA, Floresta DR, & private investors.Floresta Financial Growth 2003-20072003: $ 567,8332004: $ 778,8032005: $ 1,121,3742006: $ 1,289,4252007: $ 1,515,430“With the right tools, technology, and coaching, the poor have the skillsand imagination to not only improve their farms and start businesses,but to restore the land on which they depend.”
Board of Directors Advisory Board Organizational AffiliationsCHAIRMAN Robert Ainsworth Memberships:Jeff Busby Former Vice President AERDO – Association of Evangelical ReliefCEO, Brandes Investment Partners World Vision and Development OrganizationsTREASURER Anthony Campolo CPCA – Conservation and PreservationCindy Outlaw Author, Speaker Charities of AmericaFormer ControllerSAIC Calvin DeWitt ECFA – Evangelical Council for Financial Professor, Environmental Studies AccountabilitySECRETARY University of WisconsinMartin Gore ICA – Independent Charities of AmericaVice President Rev. Paul LandreySeahorse Capital, Inc. Director InterAction – American Council for TOPIC (Trainers of Pastors International Voluntary International ActionMurray Decker Coalition)Associate Professor, Intercultural Studies Floresta is a Partner Organization of theBiola University Margaret Dalzell Lowman Evangelical Environmental Network Director of Environmental InitiativesTricia Elisara New College of FloridaDirectorCreation Care Study Program (CCSP) William McColl, M.D. Staff Orthopedic Surgeon Scott SabinJeff Kahler Former NFL Football Player Executive DirectorGeneral PartnerKahler Capital Management John Perkins Armando Osorio President Director of ProgramsEric Kaiser John Perkins FoundationFormer VP Bob MorikawaQualcomm Sir Ghillean Prance, FRS, VMH Technical Director Science DirectorMary King Eden Project, Cornwall Kristen Kreitzer TuckerFinancial Advisor Business ManagerMerrill Lynch Ronald Sider Professor Sarah FerryJohn McKay Palmer Theological Seminary Director of OutreachCo-founderSAJE Foundation D. Peter Stocker Megan VanderGeest Retired Credit Manager Director of CommunicationsRichard H. Thompson Weyerhaeuser CompanyPastor Erin WeesnerWestminster Presbyterian Church Paul Thompson Administrative Assistant Executive DirectorRobert Witbeck Better World Together Foundation Rachel CastilleroFormer Co-owner Administrative AssistantStacy and Witbeck, Inc. Mary Walker, Esq. General Counsel Rebeca Elliott U.S. Department of the Air Force Sponsor a Village Coordinator Tom Woodard Founder Floresta Printed on post-consumer waste paper. Pictures courtesy of Rico Castillero and Armando Osorio
“And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” Revelations 22:2
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