Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda

by Wild Forests and Fauna
Play Video
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda

Greetings from Palorinya Refugee Settlement!

February marks the height of the dry season here in northern Uganda, a time where the soil is parched and farmers are beginning to think about the upcoming planting season. This year, in alignment with growing trends of climate change, dry season has been a little wonky. A bit of rain arrived in early January, a strange and unexpected arrival of that life-giving nutrient from the sky. It didn't last long of course, and the dry season quickly returned. However, that brief bit of rain in January was further validation of what refugees and farmers alike are coming to know as truth here in Uganda: that weather patterns are changing fast, making the arrival of the necessary rains to have healthy crops hard to predict. These irregular variations in rain–too much, too little, arriving and dissapearing at unexpected times–is one of the greatest indicators of climate change in the tropics. 

This is why getting trees into the ground is so important. You see, strategic tree planting is arguably the best tool in the tool box that small-scale farmers and refugees with little resources have against the onslaught of climate change. To put in the simplest terms, trees help create microclimates that regulate rain patterns, which in terms guarantees healthy crops, which in turn guarantees happy and full bellies for the families that steward the land. 

After three successful years of piloting our innovative agroforestry systems with refugees at the household level, we are ready to scale up. We've created a grassroots network of 275 refugees with educational expertise in tree seedling care and management, as well as basic principles in climate change adaptation. Our tree nursery is bubbling with activity, and has become a fixture of the community over the past few years. And, the 200,000 seedlings we've planted, household to household, are now turning into mature trees. Now, it's time to build out this foundation to create big change. 

We have plans this year to shift from small-scale planting with households to mobilizing refugee farmer groups to plant trees by the acre. By working with our team on the ground, we've developed a strategy of a unique agroforestry system whereby hundreds of acres of staple crops can be grown alongside 1,000 trees per acre, that will be planted with the tree seedlings. Long-term, this will mean healthy soils and increased crop yields, while restoring hundreds of acreas of landscape with all the benefits that trees provide.

But to be able to have the biggest impact possible, we need your help. Every $25 you donate is another refugee farmer we can work with, to reforest the region, increase food security, and contribute to the long-term ecological integrity of northern Uganda. We have a goal of working with 2,000 refugee farmers this year. We're galvanizing grants and finding fundraising opportunities to make this dream a reality, and we want to ask you to join us in those efforts. If you can mobilize 10 of your friends to give $25 each, we will have raised $250 together. If 50 of you all do that, we will have raised $12,500: a good start to get this scaling up off the ground. In this time of COVID, realities are strange and uncertain, and having get togethers with friends seem like a distant reality. But, perhaps in the spirit of COVID, you can host a 'virtual' zoom potluck, and by saving the money from all going out to dinner together at a restaurant, that money can go to help the 120,000 refugees that call Palorinya home, who are awaiting the next planting season in hopes that they'll have enough food on their table this year. 

If we've learned anything in the past year, it's that we truly are all in this together. Let's make it good. 

From our dry and hot landscape to wherever you call home,

The Native Seeds Project team

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Refugee in their garden, with trees
Refugee in their garden, with trees

Hi friends,

Greetings from Northern Uganda, currenrtly home to over 1 million refugees from South Sudan. When refugee influxes happen, they happen fast, and organizations' priorities are focused on basic needs: registration, shelter, food and medicine. But with sharp influx of population levels and concentrations we also see rapid degradation of natural ecosystems, deforestation and a shift in forest resource management. 

If you talk to any of these refugees, they'll be the first to say that they want to help to protect the environment, because they understand intimately that their livelihood depends upon it. But with relief organizations only factoring in basic needs and doing the necessary triage that occurs with a refugee crisis, issues of sustainability aren't adequately addressed. That's where we come in. 

In 2017 we saw firsthand this need. We saw refugees trying to establish their new lives in these refugee camps, and the way that their livelihood–trees for firewood and trees for construction and cleared land for agricultural cultivation–led to the rapid decline of tree cover. We saw a challenge and a solution. 

Today, we work collaboratively with refugee communities to better manage their forest resources. We plant trees with them, in strategic ways, to both mitigate further forest loss while also helping them to better meet their own needs, and lead more thriving and resilient lives. 

To date, we've planted nearly 200,000 trees with 120,000 refugees, and have begun a major rollout of getting more fuel-efficient cookstoves to refugee households to further conserve the forest that surrounds them. 

And we're not stopping. Right now, we're in the process of working on some pretty neat plans to really scale our work through collaborating with more organizaitons, more partners, and more refugees. We are the proof that sustainability can be factored into refugee service delivery, and we plan to continue to build sustainability into the lives of refugees. 

But, to do this work, we need the support of people like you. Thank you for believing in us and financially giving to our cause. Because of it, you are helping to ensure that refugee families have access to sustainable energy sources and nutrition, while also halting the effects of climate change and desertification in its tracks. 

We'll hope you'll continue supporting us. 

Thanks,

the WildFF team

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Refugees receiving trainings
Refugees receiving trainings

Hello supporters,

Greetings to you and your family from Palorinya Refugee Settlement in Northern Uganda. We, like you, are feeling the effects of a drastically changed world over the past few months, from a virus that has reminded us that we are far more connected than we previously took notice of. 

Speaking of connection, while the virus has halted us in many ways, it has also propelled us into further action. From that place, I'd like to remind you of the impact we have had so far with the many South Sudanese refugees we have worked with in increasing food security and decreasing deforestation in and around their new home in Northern Uganda. 

In 2019, we planted over 92,000 moringa, fruit and timber tree seedlings in collaboration with 120,000 refugees. In addition to these plantings, refugees received training on tree seedling care and management as well as the multiple uses of the seedling types distributed. But our work didn't stop there.

We trained over 148 artisans on how to build Rocket Lorena stoves, a type of cookstove that drastically decreases the need for firewood while also decreasing smoke levels that can be harmful to human health. Those 148 artisans, all refugees, received ongoing payment for their work to construct 2,000 cookstoves for 2,000 refugee families, effectively making these families' ecological footprint drastically lower while also protecting the health of the individuals that cook family meals, most of whom are women and children. 

As 2019 turned into 2020, we prepped for another seedling distribution, and have to date raised an additional 54,000 tree seedlings to be distributed to more refugees. Those seedlings are currently awaiting patiently in the nursery to be distributed, safely and sanitarily, to more refugees wanting to restore their soil, green their land, and increase their food security. Given the current COVID situation in Uganda, we hope we will begin seedling distribution in the coming weeks or months. 

If there is anything that COVID has taught us, is that while some things in life can be halted, others remain uncancelled. Things like family, community, growing your own food and tending to your own land. That's what we've been busy doing here at WildFF, and it's what all of the refugees we work with have been doing in their respective homes. 

We know there's a lot going on in the world right now, and a whole lot of different causes you can support. But we urge you to remember how at risk our refugee populations in the world are, not just of COVID, but of radically changed climate patterns that continue to exert their power over our world. Please continue to support this work: together, we can change the way that refugee service delivery is implemented, and bring agency and the ability to support oneself through the gifts that nature provides back into the hands of refugees. 

 

All the best,

the WildFF team

Refugee mother with her new eco-cookstove
Refugee mother with her new eco-cookstove
Fruit tree planting in 2018, steadily growing!
Fruit tree planting in 2018, steadily growing!
1 year-old moringa amidst a cassava garden
1 year-old moringa amidst a cassava garden
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Recently I was reading an article that sent a multiplicity of neurons in my brain firing off in several directions, making connections between seemingly disparate global and local issues. Toward the end of my thought process, I trailed back around to our system of planting moringa trees and fast-growing timber trees with South Sudanese refugees in northern Uganda.

The article stated that for perhaps the first time in recently recorded history, natural disasters provoked the majority of new internal displacement cases in 2018, surpassing conflict as the primary factor for driving people from their homes worldwide. 

Let's put some numbers to that. According to the Global Report on Internal Displacement, an annual assessment carried out by the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, over 17 million people were newly displaced as a redult of weather and geophysical changes in 2018, compared to a roughly 10.8 million displaced by conflict. That means 61% of those forced from their homes within their country of origin were climate related, opposed to human-driven reasons such as war and conflict. 

This is big news, news that you probably won't see on CNN or even BBC. This puts climate-related migration on the map: not as a prediction of what will occur in coming years, but as reality today, and, according to this report, even last year. 

With the climate crisis only projected to get worse, than we can assume that these numbers will only grow in the coming years. Which means, that even if we manage to stabilize geopolitical tensions, the rate of global displacement will continue to rise. 

Now, we realize that the majority of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda–whom we work with–were primarily driven from their homes due to a protracted conflict rather than climate insecurities. However, these new statistics are still relevant to our work with South Sudanese refugees. You see, our system aims to innovate the refugee service delivery system by building in sustainable and regenerative design into the very structure of refugee settlements and camps themselves. The system we designed is meant to be scalable and replicable in nearly all areas of the tropics–meaning that as global displacement continues with fervor, there are strategies in place to accomodate such an influx of displaced persons in a way that is also accounting for the need to address pressing climate issues, making sure that our strategies to deal with the effects of the climate crisis aren't contributing to the exacerbation of these issues. 

This is why we believe in tree-based and bio-mimicry-based solutions. We can look to nature to reveal patterns that we can apply to the problems we face in this day and age, and that can help us not only manage those problems but to fix them at their roots, not just their surface-level symptoms. 

Join us today to continue to supplement refugees' food rations with sustainable sources of nutrition, while also deterring further deforestation surrounding the camps–ensuring the longevity and fertility of the lands they inhabit. 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Our Native Seeds team harvests Moringa stenopetala
Our Native Seeds team harvests Moringa stenopetala

Hi friends,

For those of you who already know this project, you know that it's about planting trees in refugee settlements in Uganda.  It's about bringing the multiple benefits of trees to people and landcape in a precarious situation caused by the intensification of violence in South Sudan.  Our past project reports by Project Manager Georgia Beasley have highlighted amazing stories of impact from on the ground in Palorinya.  

This time around, we want to put the trees in the spotlight.  We plant moringa.  But why moringa?  Why there?

Frank Martin states in Survival and Subsistence in the Tropics that “among the leafy vegetables, one stands out as particularly good, the horseradish tree.  The leaves are outstanding as a source of vitamin A and, when raw, vitamin C.  They are a good source of B vitamins and among the best plant sources of minerals.  The calcium content is very high for a plant.  Phosphorous is low, as it should be.  The content of iron is very good (it is reportedly prescribed for anemia in the Philippines). They are an excellent source of protein and a very low source of fat and carbohydrates.  Thus the leaves are one of the best plant foods that can be found.”

It's nothing short of a miracle – and some people call moringa "the miracle tree" – that this tree is also drought hardy, fast-growing, and tolerant of a wide variety of poor tropical soils.  

But maybe it didn't sink in fully just how nutritious moringa is. Lakshmipriya Gopalakrishnan and co. in Food Science and Human Wellness, put it in more captivating terms:

"Moringa is rich in nutrition owing to the presence of a variety of essential phytochemicals present in its leaves, pods and seeds. In fact, moringa is said to provide 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, 9 times more protein than yoghurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas and 25 times more iron than spinach. The fact that moringa is easily cultivable makes it a sustainable remedy for malnutrition."

It's worth saying that this is a singular, unique nutritional profile for any plant.  Its green fruit pods and its flowers are also nutritious and edible.  And of course the root provides a horseradish-like condiment.  

If we're sold on moringa by now, it's also worthwhile to note that our work doesn't put all the eggs in one basket. Other species as well as moringa enter into our planting program.  For this report, we will limit ourselves to a description to one of them, a tree known as Mosisi.  

The tree known to botanists as Maesopsis eminii shares at least one thing with moringa.  They are both incredibly fast growing.  But unlike the corky, low-density vegetative tissue that makes up moringa's trunk, mosisi – or musizi, depending on who's asking – is made up of hardwood that eventually becomes quite fine in quality.  The hardness is significant for other reasons too – fallen branches of this species make perfectly adequate firewood, an important commodity in Palorinya.  Firewood is particularly important in the sense that it often comes from the forests and savannahs that surround the refugee settlements, putting additional pressure on the landscape's trees. 

Between moringa and mosisi we have a kind of cooking technological package – nutrition and fuel maximized by the ideal species for the local climate and soil.  It's perhaps some minor source of positivity within what is clearly a deeply challenging situation.  For Wild Forests and Fauna it is an honor to participate in some kind of solution, even as we ask other institutions to do their part in creating strategies for the ongoing improvement of refugee settlements. 

To date we have planted hundreds of thousands of trees in refugee settlements in northern Uganda with only tens of thousands in funding.  The efficiency of implementation of this solution is one of its many virtues.  We look forward to planting many trees more.  Thank you for your support.   

One of our moringa nurseries in northern Uganda
One of our moringa nurseries in northern Uganda
A fast-growing Moringa oleifera tree
A fast-growing Moringa oleifera tree
Taking moringa out to Palorinya
Taking moringa out to Palorinya
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Wild Forests and Fauna

Location: Carnation, WA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @WildForestFauna
Project Leader:
Corrie Reynoso
Carnation, WA United States
$3,086 raised of $15,000 goal
 
186 donations
$11,914 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Wild Forests and Fauna has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.