Joseph Jnr is 26. Several years ago he was at secondary school and during the weekends would help his father at their tree nursery and pruning the 1,000 trees they had already planted. Then in 2020 Joseph’s life changed.
Not only did his father pass away but Joseph Jnr. had to step up and look after the rest of his family – one sister and two brothers. Overnight he went from seeing his friends every day in the classroom to seeing them after school when he had finished farming.
He unfortunately neglected some of the younger trees his father had grown as he needed to work as a farm labourer to earn money. However, Joseph’s story took a positive turn and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
After working for a year as a farmer, some of the older trees his father had planted were ready for harvesting. Our project focusses on providing a solution to deforestation by supporting farmers to sustainably grow trees for timber and firewood whilst protecting existing natural forests. These trees also re-grow which is a great benefit to the farmers.
From the sale of some of the wooden poles, Joseph Jnr. was able to purchase some farmland and he now employs farm workers himself. This year he has also raised a further 6,500 tree seedlings so he can further support his family in future.
Although Joseph would have liked to have finished school, he is optimistic for his future because he has seen how sustainable tree planting has improved his, and his siblings, life.
On their six hectare farm he is growing cassava along with maize, groundnuts and sweet potato. As time goes on, he hopes to expand his farm so when he decides to have children of his own, he has the means to provide a bright future for them too.
For just 25p a tree, you can be a part of Joseph’s future – they even make a great Christmas gift. Take a look.