We have decided that it is time to close down this project. We were unable to sustain it through donations last fall, and have not received any further donations since then. Although the Forest Service donated saplings previously and likely will be able to again when schools reopen, school closures due to COVID-19 are expected to continue until at least December.
In the meantime, the teacher has been visiting the school to tend the trees that were planted there, and although we have not been able to visit the other locations where the saplings we gave the children were planted, we are hopeful that our efforts to give the children a sense of ownership and pride was successful in inspiring them to see that they were looked after.
Your support for our efforts was heartening, and much appreciated. Our other Global Projects are continuing, and if you would like to show your appreciation of our efforts, please consider donating to our most active current project, emergency relief for victims of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Take care, and know that we will all get through this!
As with most things today, our project to enlist schoolchildren in the fight against global warming has been put on hold until the current emergency has passed. But we remain committed to helping children learn how to plant and nurture as a way to cool both their immediate environment and the planet, and look forward to resuming our efforts as soon as we can.
Meanwhile, we are scrambling to provide emergency food and supplies to the thousands of families who no longer have the income that jobs as daily wage workers, street vendors and migrant workers used to provide. We have been offering a mid-day meal to groups in need that some of the children told us was all they would have to eat that day.
We are grateful for your past support and are hoping trees that the trees you helped the children plant will have managed to survive without regular nurturing during the crisis. Although I realize that some of you have yourselves been coping with a drastic loss of income, if you are able to make an additional donation to help make sure that the schoolchildren are adequately fed during this time, you can donate to provide food, funds & support for India's COVID-19 victims .
Wishing you strength and safety during this difficult time --
With the help of some generous donations locally, we were able to purchase enough saplings to give to each child at the Siruganur school who has a birthday in September or October. Janet Preethi, the project director, visited the school to talk about how planting trees can help slow global warming and to present the saplings, along with birthday cards signed by some of our supporters locally and around the world. The children enjoyed getting the cards, which designated them Climate Change Superheroes and which were signed by friends from as far away as Cameroon and California.
This week, we returned to the school to see how things were going. All the trees are strong and healthy; we were pleased to see that our idea of gifting the trees to the children on their birthday sees to have inspired them to make sure to provide the needed nurturing. One of the girls we talked with said how happy it made her when she came in the morning to water her tree and could see how well it was growing.
Unfortunately, GlobalGiving has not yet been able to resolve the regulatory problem that is keeping them from being able to disburse our funds, and has indicated that it will be at least until March before they will be able to do so. As a result, we will not be able to gift any more saplings till at least the spring.
Thanks again for supporting our work -- we'll keep you posted.
Greetings! As always, we hope all our supporters are doing well.
We have to start this report with an explanation of a setback that is impacting all our projects: Global Giving has run into a problem with its disbursement of funds in India, and has had to suspend payment to all its Indian partners until they can resolve the issue with the government. This means that we have not yet received any of the money that has been donated to us the last few months, making progress difficult.
However, I am delighted to report that some generous local donors have agreed to provide enough money by direct payment to allow us to purchase the saplings we need to give one to each child at the Siruganur school who has a birthday in September or October. We will be giving each child a birthday card with their sapling, in order to impress upon them the importance of growing trees to slow climate change and inspire them to take good care of their saplings so that they will go into powerful carbon sequesters. Supporters locally and around the world have signed their names to the birthday cards for these two months.
We have scheduled a presentation of the saplings for Monday (October 15) and you will be able to see pictures of the birthday girls and boys on our Facebook page, where you can also go to our event page to sign up to sign a card for a November's birthday. If you would like to make an additional gift to cover the cost of a birthday sapling, please rest assured that we should receive all the money you donate by the end of the year.
Your support is a constant inspiration to us, and we look forward to being able to use your donation to plant more trees as soon as Global Giving is able to disburse it to us.
We had our first meeting with the students of the Government Higher Secondary School in Siruganur village. I visited the sixth grade class with one of our trustees to talk about the role that trees can play in slowing climate change, stabilizing the soil, and providing shade and wind breaks.
We brought two saplings that we had purchased from the Forest Department earlier, one neem and one pungai. The headmaster and teachers joined us for the planting near the compound wall. The 6th grade will be responsible for making sure the saplings are watered and properly maintained.
The children were very interested in our project and suggested that we give each of them a sapling on their birthday, to plant at the school (as long as there is space available) or at their home. The most common problem we have with our projects planting trees in schools is that the saplings are not properly cared for and end up withering and dying. We hope that by gifting the saplings to students individually as a special source of joy, they will be motivated to take better care of them.
Whether at home or at the school, the students will be able to follow the growth of their saplings up through the 12th grade, as they will mostly advance together in the same school. Over the six years, they will be able to see the saplings grow into trees. At the end of each year, we will show the children how to measure the girth and height of each tree and calculate how much carbon it is removing from the air. The student who has raised the tree that sequesters the most carbon will be given a Climate Action Superhero award.
If you'd like your own Climate Action Superhero award, donate $10 this week to buy a sapling and all the supplies it needs to grow, which we will give to the next student celebrating a birthday. In our thank-you note, we'll include a link you can visit to download your award.
I was very moved by the children's interest and excitement, and I hope you are proud of the hand you had in inspiring them.
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