Rooted In Hope

Mission Statement: "Our organization is dedicated to promoting social, environmental, and sustainable development through advocacy, education, and international outreach projects." Who We Are: Rooted In Hope is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working globally to promote environmental awareness and create sustainable solutions to the world's social and environmental challenges. What We Do: Rooted In Hope advances sustainable development through advocacy, education, and internal outreach projects, driving new growth and hope for communities around the world. Promote environmental awareness through community engagement Combat climate change through reforestation and forest preser...

Rooted In Hope
495 La Canada
Morgan Hill, California 95037
United States
4084276376
http://www.rootedinhope.org

Founder, President, & CEO

Catherine A. Rodgers

Board of Directors

Jeff Lande, Michael Bonfante, Francesca de Gasparis, Jennifer L Emick, Kathryn T Emick, Catherine A Rodgers, Linda Rodgers

Project Leaders

Katie Emick

Mission

Mission Statement: "Our organization is dedicated to promoting social, environmental, and sustainable development through advocacy, education, and international outreach projects." Who We Are: Rooted In Hope is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working globally to promote environmental awareness and create sustainable solutions to the world's social and environmental challenges. What We Do: Rooted In Hope advances sustainable development through advocacy, education, and internal outreach projects, driving new growth and hope for communities around the world. Promote environmental awareness through community engagement Combat climate change through reforestation and forest preservation Recharge watersheds by improving root systems and reducing soil erosion Protect endangered species by restoring vital ecosystems Improve biodiversity by planting native species and preserving natural habitats Create solutions through agricultural training and resource optimization Empower women through employment opportunities and community involvement Educate students through international speaking engagements and cross-cultural collaboration Stimulate local economies through job creation and income generation Advance sustainability through holistic projects that encourage local ownership About the organization: Rooted In Hope is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental protection and sustainable development. Our organization addresses the challenges of ecologically fragile and socially underserved regions of the world, with a particular focus on reforestation, water conservation, education and awareness, women's empowerment, and rural economic development. We take a grassroots approach by embracing the needs of the communities we serve, engaging local participation in our conservation efforts, and fostering a sense of ownership and awareness among our beneficiaries. Through advocacy and international outreach projects, Rooted In Hope works to establish sustainable solutions to the world's most pressing environmental and social challenges. Rooted In Hope's work helps to protect and restore the natural resources of the planet, while helping rural communities find new opportunities for sustainable growth. Organization History: Rooted In Hope was founded in 2010 by Cathy Rodgers and her two daughters, Jenny and Katie Emick. These three women share a deep appreciation for the world's natural resources, as well as a strong commitment to sustainability and international development. Based out of northern California, in the heart of Silicon Valley's entrepreneurial hub, Cathy, Jenny, and Katie established Rooted In Hope to address the growing need for environmental protection and positive social development around the world. Rooted In Hope's mission was built around meeting the needs of both the environment and the communities that depend on it. Since its inception, the majority of Rooted In Hope's programs have been located in Kenya's Aberdare forest and its surrounding communities. Rooted In Hope fostered early partnerships with conservation organizations such as the Green Belt Movement and Kenya Wildlife Service, and it continues to build alliances with some of Africa's leading environmental groups. To-date, Rooted In Hope has planted over 50,000 trees in Kenya, and carried out numerous environmental and social development programs in rural communities. Our organization has planted over 12,000 trees in the Aberdare National Park, making it one of the largest contributors to reforestation of this critical habitat and watershed area. Rooted In Hope has also conducted several tree-planting projects in conjunction with the Green Belt Movement, and through this partnership has planted over 40,000 trees in the foothills of Kenya's Aberdare range. In addition to recharging water tables, our reforestation efforts contribute to reducing soil erosion, which help to restore dried-up streams and riverbeds, further improving the quality and availability of safe water in local communities, generating a cascade of social benefits. Also, our reforestation projects create local jobs and provide income opportunities to raise the standard of living in these rural, marginalized communities. Along with our ongoing reforestation activities, Rooted In Hope works our growing network of local women's groups, schools and rural communities. We have conducted educational programs and taught over 5,000 students at local primary and secondary schools in Kenya and the United States, engaging them in our conservation efforts and fostering opportunities for cross-cultural collaboration. We have also trained several rural communities and marginalized women's groups on sustainable solutions such as water harvesting, kitchen gardens, and microenterprise development.

Programs

Rooted In Hope's impact programs benefit both the environment and the communities that depend on it. Our impact areas include reforestation, water conservation, women's empowerment, and education & awareness. Our current programs include the following: Aberdare Reforestation & Watershed Protection Program - Kenya: Overview: Rooted In Hope's program in the Aberdare National Park contributes in part to a larger initiative, Return the Bush, which aims to reforest 125 hectares of degraded forest in Kenya's Aberdare National Park. The primary objectives of this program include to restore natural tree cover, recharge the watershed, reduce soil erosion and runoff, combat the effects of climate change, protect wildlife habitats, increase biodiversity, create local jobs, and stimulate local economies. Our Commitment: Rooted In Hope's 2014 reforestation program in the Aberdares marks the fourth year of an ongoing, multiyear effort to restore 125 hectares of the Aberdares. Rooted In Hope began working with the Kenya Wildlife Service and Aberdare Safari Hotels in 2010, and by 2013, has planted 12,000 trees in the Aberdare National Park, making our organization one of the largest contributors to the Return the Bush initiative. Over the coming years, Rooted In Hope will continue to work with our partners to meet the goal of planting over 120,000 trees in this vital region of Kenya. About the Aberdare National Park: The Aberdare National Park is an important ecological region of Kenya, and is home to one of the country's vital forests. The Aberdares serve as one of Kenya's five main water towers, act as an important carbon sink in combating climate change, provide a habitat for an abundance of plant and animal species, and drive economic growth in the local economy. Watershed: The Aberdare range, which is largely under the protected land management of the Aberdare National Park, receives some of the heaviest rainfall in all of Kenya. Its watershed provides millions of Kenyans with water, electricity, and irrigated land for farming. The Aberdare water tower serves as the primary source of water for the country's capital, Nairobi, supplying over 3 million people in total with access to water, and also serves as the main catchment area for Kenya's largest river and hydroelectric plant, which provides over 55% of the population with electricity. Biodiversity & Wildlife: The Aberdare National Park is home to over 700 plant species as well as several threatened mammal species including the African elephant, black rhino, mountain bongo, and giant forest hog. The Park is one of Kenya's primary tourism attractions, and its abundance of wildlife is one of the primary drivers of revenue in the local economy. Historic Significance" The Aberdare National Park is renowned for its historical roots tied to Great Britain and the royal family. The Park is named after Lord Aberdare of the United Kingdom, and most notably, is the home to the Treetops Lodge (known to some as the most famous hotel in the world), where Queen Elizabeth II was vacationing when she learned of her ascension to the throne in 1952. Benefits to the forest: Trees provide measurable benefits for the environment, community, and wildlife in the region. By planting indigenous tree species in our reforestation efforts, Rooted In Hope helps to increase tree cover in this salient area of the Park, restore ecological stability, and improve the overall quality of the environment in the Park for the animals that inhabit it, the locals that depend on it, and the tourists that visit to witness its natural beauty. Benefits to the watershed: Reforesting the water catchment area and increasing tree cover improves root systems in the soil, which will help to trap and store rainwater and reduce soil erosion. The trees help to recharge the essential water tables, reduce sediment load in the rivers, and prevent both flooding and desertification. Reforestation also improves local climate conditions by allowing more moisture to circulate through the water cycle, which improves water quality and availability, and lessens the risk of droughts. Benefits to the community: In addition to increasing the water tables that supply surrounding communities with safe access to water, Rooted In Hope's program in the Aberdares helps to drive economic growth in these rural areas. Our reforestation efforts create jobs for local workers to assist in the planning, preparation, and planting of the trees. We also engage several local nurseries, many of which are women-owned and operated, to supply the seedlings for our program, further stimulating growth in the local economy. By providing income opportunities through environmental protection, we are helping to drive sustainable growth both for the environment and the communities that depend on it. Nyeri Riparian Reforestation Program - Kenya: Rooted In Hope has conducted several tree-planting projects in conjunction with the Green Belt Movement, and through this partnership has planted over 40,000 trees in the foothills of the Aberdares on the outskirts of Nyeri. We are continuing our close collaboration with the local communities to plant more trees in this region. Women-run Tree Nursery Program - Kenya: As part of our reforestation efforts, Rooted In engages women from local tree nurseries to serve as an integral link in our supply chain. The women collect seeds and nurture them to the appropriate height for planting, and are compensated based on a partial payment system that encourages proper maintenance and after-care once the trees are planted. As we continue to scale our reforestation efforts and plant higher quantities of trees, we will work to establish more women-run nurseries to ensure that we have sufficient capacity to supply increasing demand for seedlings. The women-run nurseries serve as a vehicle to empower impoverished Kenyan women and enhance their roles in society. Rooted In Hope and our local partners work to train these women on sustainable agricultural techniques and microenterprise management, fostering education, awareness, and economic development in these marginalized communities. Water Harvesting Program - Kenya: Rooted in Hope supports the construction of water harvesting systems in rural communities of Kenya. The marginalized villages with which we work now have improved water security for drinking, cooking, and growing crops. As techniques are passed on from village to village, greater numbers of people are benefiting from sustainable water catchment and storage systems. We also help to build water harvesting systems in rural primary and secondary schools in Kenya. Since the vast majority of these students spend several hours each day on water collection, increasing the water availability at schools can lead to significant impacts on their attendance, performance, and quality of education. Sister-School Program - Kenya, USA: Rooted in Hope connected students in California and Kenya as part of a sister school project associated with the 2012 reforestation project in Kenya's Aberdare National Park. In March of this year, Rooted in Hope staff visited St. Mary's in Gilroy, California (K-8) and Miaguyu Primary School in Gakanga, Kenya to teach lessons on conservation and culture to more than 1,500 students.Students in California learned Kiswahili phrases and viewed videos and photos of their sister school in Kenya, while the Kenyan students performed poems on the environment, participated in classroom activities and participated in the tree planting effort with Rooted in Hope members. Through this continued partnership, students are exposed to cross-cultural collaboration through environmental conservation. Kitchen Garden Program - Kenya: Rooted in Hope is helping to create food security in Kenya's rural communities and among women and children with HIV/AIDS. Sustainable kitchen gardens provide nutrients and a reliable food source to these vulnerable groups. Over the past three years, we have donated seeds and materials, as well as facilitated training workshops on seed collection, sustainable irrigation, and harvesting techniques. Beekeeping & Honey Harvesting Program - Kenya: Rooted in Hope donated several hundred pounds of mesh material to a number of rural villages in Nyeri, Kenya. Although we had initially thought the material could be used for constructing screen windows, the local women have fashioned the mesh into protective masks for beekeeping. Subsequently, a beekeeping training program has been started. Today, this ever-growing group of women is harvesting honey for sale and profit, while simultaneously improving the pollination of their kitchen gardens. Solar Lanterns Program - Kenya: Rooted In Hope is contributing to the economic empowerment of women in rural villages of Kenya by providing a power source that not only reduces their expenditures, but also provides an opportunity to generate supplemental income. Our solar lantern program trains rural women on the environmental, social, and economic benefits of solar electricity, which include: Reduced dependence on kerosene as the primary source of lighting, which is harmful to both the environment and personal health Access to a renewable power source, which is less costly and more efficient than burning kerosene (cost savings of 150 shillings per week, on average) Increases productivity due less time spent walking to and from town to purchase kerosene and charge mobile devices Opportunity to develop a microenterprise, which is run on revenues generated through the sale of mobile phone charging (solar lanterns equipped with outlet)

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