Trees for Life
In A Nutshell:
They empower people across the world via education to improve the quality of life and make poverty a thing of the past. Below lists some initiatives aimed to produce long-term positive shifts.
Why They Rock:
- Books for Life International – spreading the joy of reading to children in developing countries worldwide.
- The Moringa Tree – encouraging the use of this miraculous tree and further research into its benefits.
- Education – empowering the poor to reach long-term goals through quality education.
- Fruit trees – helping provide a long-term and renewing source of food to the hungry of the world.
- Fuel-efficient cookstoves – saving lives with these cookstoves built with local materials by local residents.
- Trees for Life Journal – bringing beneficial plants and trees to the attention of the scientific community.
Trees of Life works out of an historic school building although their approach is anything but ‘old school’….imagine providing a village a used cell phone synced to a micro-projector with translated subtraction lessons, advice on planting trees, and hologram aerobic classes with Princess Leia (not yet, just wanted to pump up Star War fans).
Sunday night I was greeted by my gracious host David and volunteer crew (Mark/Jason) at the ‘Tree House’, a wing for volunteers in the building where Trees of Life operates…I was back at college – community kitchen, shared bathrooms, and a Poltergeist heating system (I was in Blair Witch position all night). I awoke to ‘sit’ for 30 minutes with the staff in silence…meditation, prayer, just pure calmness…an excellent way to start any day.
Then, team member Jeffery gave me a tour of the building and provided training for adding subtitles to education videos based on the Kahn website (amazing story – founder was tutoring nephews via Yahoo messenger…now runs a site that hosts over 2000 tutorial videos). Off to lunch for $1…yes, everybody in the office chips in a buck and you get an awesome spread of home cooking 50 steps from your desk! Back to editing with my big headphones (I could have passed for an air traffic controller)…and bam, the local news appears for an interview – taking some shots of me rocking out to subtraction videos and I get some words in about the tour and Trees for Life. The day ends and the education continues with the founder Balbir…the name alone tells you he is a modern day sage.
Balbir and his giving wife Treva have me over for dinner with the Tree for Life crew, and I had the privilege to take a walk with Balbir and soak up his stories…successful business man, loving father and husband, and full of wisdom. In form Balbir is all those things I mentioned but his essence is about bring bringing positive change 1,000 years from now and not the typical ‘band-aid’ approach.
Trees for Life is a very simple, very forward thinking non-profit , and gets to the root (had to do it)…education. You educate one person to help others in positive manner, then they are empowered and a ripple effect of teaching occurs….I teach you, now you teach two people. Here I go, the Moringa Tree is full over disease-preventing nutrients and their leaves can save millions of lives…pass it on.
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“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people” – Chinese Proverb