Trees for Africa

Many consider FWCC a seedbed for Friends’ responses to our faith and testimonies. In one case, that can be said literally. In 2000, Friends at the Triennial in New Hampshire knew that there would be a lot of travel incurred to move those who would be participating in the 2004 Triennial in New Zealand. A plan was born to ask yearly meetings around the world to plant trees as a way to compensate for CO2 emissions. One initiative still thriving today is "Trees for Africa."

European and Middle East Friends decided that rather than planting trees in an otherwise green Europe, they would raise funds to enable Friends in Kenya to plant trees. This has become quite a successful project. The Rural Service Programme of Kenya yearly meetings has been able to start ten tree nurseries and plant trees on Quaker family and meetinghouse compounds in 13 yearly meetings, involving some 100 monthly meetings. Some 100,000 seedlings have been planted. Workshops and field extension programs have been organized to teach local Friends techniques for harvesting seeds of indigenous trees, how to set up nurseries, and how to plan and care for trees.

The staff of the Rural Service Programme thinks this is a special project: not only does it involve two Sections (EMES and Africa), but it is also one of the few projects jointly undertaken by all Kenyan yearly meetings and thus brings them together.

Kees Nieuwerth
Netherlands Yearly Meeting