Since 1989, Trees for the Future has planted over 115 million trees all over the world, and have demonstrated the transformative power of trees in helping people break out of the poverty trap while also addressing the global environment. Planting trees provides families with more than just food. It provides income, empowerment, unity, leadership, education and even saves lives. When people are taught to value themselves and their environment, they see amazing improvements in their standard of living.

The cornerstone of Trees for the Future’s work is their Forest Garden Program. Proven with success this technique is simple, replicable, scalable, and consists of planting specific types of trees and crops in a systematic manner over a four-year period. Forest gardens provide families with sustainable food sources, livestock feed, products to sell, fuel wood, and up to a 500% increase in their annual income.

Currently, they have tree-planting initiatives in Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Hundreds of millions of families could escape extreme poverty if they only knew how to transform their lands into a Forest Garden. To build global awareness of their solution, they aim to lift a million people out of poverty using the Forest Garden Approach. This initial goal will require working with 125,000 impoverished families to plant 500 million trees. 

This speech was delivered by Trees for the Future's (trees.org) Executive Director, John Leary, April 8, 2016, while visiting Forest Gardens in rural Kaffrine, Senegal. The following is an English translation of John's speech in Wolof language: We are in rural Kaffrine, Senegal, to uncover the root cause of perpetual poverty and deforestation.