For about nine months out of the year, the desert of rural Senegal bakes under the hot sun. Scraggly trees wither and bow against dusty winds blowing off the Sahara, and the grass becomes brittle and dry. Cattle and goat herders migrate south in search of better grazing land for their livestock, as the desert encroaches year after year into Senegal’s scrubby forests and pasture land.
Right around July however, the rainy season begins, offering a short period of relief from the heat. It is during this time that volunteers and field technicians in CREATE!’s partner communities spring into action for CREATE!’s annual tree planting campaign.
This summer, we’re asking you to help with the tree planting campaign, too! In 2017, CREATE! communities planted over 25,000 trees. We want to see how many trees we can plant this year, with your help. There are three big ways you can be involved:
- Donate — This is the biggest way you can help with this project. $1 plants 1 tree, so even a little bit goes a long way.
- Start a fundraiser for CREATE! on Facebook. This is a fun and effective way to amplify your impact, and also to introduce CREATE! to more friends and family!
- Spread the word. Share this blog post and our social media with the hashtag #PlantfortheFuture to help get word out about what we’re doing and the lives we’re changing together with your support.
Deforestation in Senegal is a serious problem. Senegal loses forest at an average rate of 215 hectares, or 300 soccer fields, per day. the country went from having an around 250 trees per hectare during the colonial era to less than 20 trees per hectare by 1995. This particularly impacts the rural poor. Over 80% of Senegal’s rural population uses firewood for cooking. They also rely on trees for food, shade, wind protection, and soil quality. Simply put, trees are essential to peoples’ livelihoods.
CREATE!’s tree planting campaign has shown increasing success year after year and continues to benefit thousands of people across rural Senegal, but it wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of people like you. For just a dollar a tree, a little bit really goes a long way. Consider contributing to the cause, or sharing it with your friends, and help more partner villages #PlantfortheFuture!