Ripple Africa - Tree Planting

by Liz Mihaljevic, Zadar Croatia

RIPPLE Africa’s project, established in 2006, has helped over 175 community groups to plant over 3 million trees in the Nkhata Bay District of Malawi, Africa. RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project is one of the most important tree planting projects in Malawi, and provides a long-term solution to fighting deforestation in Africa. One of the major causes of deforestation in Malawi is an unyielding demand for wood, causing the destruction of indigenous forests. RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project directly fights this by planting thousands of quick-growing exotic trees in community woodlots which provide a sustainable source of timber for local people. Quickly-growing exotic trees provide an immediate benefit to the community that uses trees as crops: coppicing the tree (cutting off the branches for firewood without felling the whole tree) allows for regrowth while providing an immediate wood source. This alleviates the significant burden on Malawi’s indigenous forests, and changes the way people in Malawi think about their natural resources. Where appropriate, RIPPLE Africa also plants indigenous hardwood trees in areas of particular degradation.

RIPPLE Africa runs its tree planting project through community partnerships. RIPPLE Africa staff are now working with community groups who each look after a tree nursery of 3,000 trees. RIPPLE Africa coordinators provide the seeds, equipment, training, and monitoring. In return, community groups are responsible for growing, watering, planting, and looking after the trees once they are planted. Tree planting occurs in areas immediately surrounding each community group, so that the people who have volunteered receive a direct benefit from their labour. To date, RIPPLE Africa estimates that over 3,000 people have volunteered for RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project in Malawi! RIPPLE Africa also conducts tree planting at schools’ tree nurseries and for individual farmers. In addition, tree planting is part of RIPPLE Africa’s Integrated Tree Planting and Cookstove Project.

Deforestation is one of the most significant issues facing Africa today. The effects of deforestation are tangible: less rain, hotter climates, soil erosion, and drought bring famine, poverty, and starvation. Yet in Malawi, an area of forest the size of a football pitch is cut down every 10 minutes! (To find out more about deforestation in Africa, please read the General Information About the Environment in Malawi page.) RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project is a direct solution to fighting deforestation. The importance of tree planting in the face of deforestation remains self-evident.
However, simply planting more trees without addressing the demand for timber would be a losing battle. RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project is not only about planting trees in Malawi, but is helping to halt the demand on Malawi’s existing indigenous forests, and to change the way people think about their natural environment, and the destructive and unsustainable actions which are causing deforestation. By involving community groups, local schools, and conducting tree planting at household level, RIPPLE Africa aims not only to conduct tree planting in Africa, but to slowly change the philosophy in which people use their natural resources, forever.
It only costs 20p to plant one tree in Malawi, Africa! This cost is nothing compared to the significant benefit just one tree can provide. Please support this critical project and help fight deforestation in Malawi, today.

  • £1 pays to grow and plant 5 trees in Malawi, Africa
  • £500 pays to grow and plant 2500 trees in Malawi, Africa
  • £1,000 pays to grow and plant 5000 trees in Malawi, Africa
  • £5,000 pays to grow and plant 25,000 trees in Malawi, Africa

Project Goal:

Set up indigenous tree nurseries with an aim to avail seedlings to communities around DOVE Africa churches for community transformation tree planting projects.

You can make a huge difference this Christmas season by helping to plant trees across East Africa. $1 can plant 10 trees, and $5 can plant 50 trees. When you sow the seed that plants a tree, we can all reap a better future.


The forest cover in most of East Africa is between 2 to 5% of total land area. Civil wars, poor eco-management, and cutting of trees for the construction and charcoal industries have ravaged the country-side, resulting in widespread deforestation. There is danger of frequent droughts as desert climate takes over. Kenya is ranked among countries most vulnerable to floods and drought caused by climate change, according to United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) report. Livelihoods are destroyed when income from agriculture, livestock, tourism and fishing declines due to weather-related disasters. The situation is so bad that locals have resorted to indiscriminate cutting of trees and clearing of vegetation for Agriculture and settlement, practices which in turn contribute to environmental degradation.

In order to ensure adequate rainfall, we will need at least 10% forest cover.Africa Transformation Initiative wants to be at the forefront of the reforestation campaign.

Most people in these regions practice some form of subsistence farming.Many families have small pieces of land where they plant survival crops during the rainy season.Because of their meager resources and lack of knowledge regarding the value of trees, they won’t go out of their way to buy and plant trees on their land.Through this initiative, churches will be equipped with both the knowledge and resources to place seedlings in the hands of farmers in their communities during specific tree planting for community transformation activities.

Training will be part of the effort, so that these communities will not only see the value of planting trees, but carry out tree planting activities to transform the environment and the community.


Donors can be encouraged to “Adopt a Tree Nursery”

for a donation of $100.

With this amount, a village church will be able to buy the needed supplies to set up a small tree nursery (this can be done on church property). The nursery will in turn supply seedlings to members and to the community at a reduced cost for planting in their own farms and homes.

Seedlings will be sold at a subsidized cost so that people will be able to afford them, but also will take ownership and responsibility for growing trees. On this basis, the nursery will be financially self-sustaining.

2011 Goals: Establish 25 Nurseries

5 nurseries in Ukambani region of Kenya

5 nurseries in Uganda

5 nurseries in Rwanda

10 nurseries in other locations (Kisumu, Kitale, Nairobi)

2011 Fundraising Goals: 25 nurseries @ $100 each = $2500

Esbenshade’s is Partnering with "The Africa Transformation Initiative"

A simple donation of $5 will plant 50 trees and just $1 donation will plant 10 trees as a way to improve various African communities.

Lititz, PA, December 08, 2011 --(

)-- The Africa Transformation Initiative is working to train and inspire men and women to improve the quality of life in villages, rural areas, cities and nations. They want to help Africans move from a poverty and helplessness mentality to a position of hope and self-sustenance. They train and equip individuals who want to begin a small business so they can take care of their families to learn business and Godly values and mindsets. With the challenge of droughts, they work with food relief, too. ATI has worked to dig wells as an avenue to supply clean water for domestic use as well as agriculture. Planting trees and beginning nurseries is also part of their plan to assist in the goal of transforming Africa to become a successful continent.

Deforestation in many regions of Eastern Africa has resulted in a decline of rainfall and perpetuates famine since crops don't have enough water to grow and thrive. Increased forest cover is needed to keep the desert from encroaching on the fertile areas. With a better balanced Eco-system, sustainable farming and gardening will improve. Nations require 10% forest cover to maintain adequate rainfall for climate balance. ATI members are encouraging church members and leaders and others in African communities to plant trees -some to produce fruits and some just for the sake of improving the rainfall.

So a simple donation of $5 will plant 50 trees and just $1 donation will plant 10 trees as a way to improve various African communities.

Thank you for joining with us to improve the lives of many in various communities in Africa. To learn more or donate online visit


Donations can also be received at any Esbenshade's garden center location in Lititz, Mohnton, or Fleetwood, PA

A new way of thinking. Building self-reliance. Transforming nations.

The Africa Transformation Initiative

is a holistic approach to bringing change based on training and sustainable models of integrated development.

The African continent has gone through decades of misery. In fact, the word “Africa” conjures up images of political turmoil, ethnic cleansing, economic failures, disease, environmental degradation, famines, mismanagement, corruption, poor governance, and a myriad of other ills. Yet, Africa has some of the world’s most prized resources that, when tapped and well managed, would quickly turn the continent around.

It is easy to blame this dilemma on problems such as colonialism, tribalism, nepotism or corruption. But as much as these might be complicating factors, it will not be easy to overcome any of these or to bring lasting change until God brings to the African people a change of heart and a change of mind. Africa needs a paradigm shift – a people who will not see themselves as helpless victims but rather as potential change agents that can bring about positive results in their own lives as well as society.

The ATI approach to bringing healing to Africa is unique because it is a holistic approach that includes

mindset change

(behavior, habits, character and actions),


(prayer and personal ministry),


(training) and


(community-level projects) components all


toward an overall goal.

Every ATI project, be it planting trees, digging wells, training, prayer, micro-finance or emergency relief, is carried out in such a way as to help the peoples of Africa rise from a position of poverty and mentality of helplessness to a position of self-sustenance and attitude of hope.

ATI is led by an international Task Force of leaders from

DOVE Christian Fellowship International


DOVE Africa

, and other interested individuals.

You are welcome to partner with Africa Transformation Initiative!

BGCI Appeal: Grow Africa - Trees and Livelihoods


"Most tree planting programs have promoted exotic fast growing tree species in Uganda, creating monocultures. In many cases, the slow growing indigenous species and the diverse undergrowth are cleared for such plantings." David Nkwanga, Nature Palace Botanical Gardens in Uganda

BGCI has launched an appeal for a its project 'Grow Africa - Trees and livelihoods' which started in January 2010. We hope to raise £ 209,000 for the project with partner botanic gardens in Africa. The appeal is part of a UK based fundraising campaign called

The Big Give


There's clearly a need for the project which aims to increase biodiversity in reforested areas and home gardens. David Nkwanga from Nature Palace Botanical Gardens in Uganda says that "presently, we have very high rates of deforestation; 2.13% per year in Uganda. This threatens the survival of rare indigenous species, many of which are used by poor people for medicinal purposes; up to 80% of their primary health care. The proposed conservation programme is timely and highly desirable".

The Big Idea

Botanic gardens in Africa are growing endangered trees in conservation collections. Our project will research and plan for their use in restoring forests and on home gardens: African tree species are safeguarded and people’s lives are improved. We need to maintain the diversity of tree species in Africa, safeguarding the benefits from such diversity. Forestry projects often use a narrow range of fast growing tree species that reduce diversity and exclude indigenous trees. This project, with African people will make for better, more resilient forests and richer wildlife.


We will use the skills and resources of African botanic gardens supported by our global network to provide a diverse range of tree species for use in forests and elsewhere. Our aim is to save African tree species from extinction by:

  • Research into African trees and their presence in conservation collections;
  • Workshops bringing together botanic garden staff with conservation organisations, forestry agencies and potentially the private sector;
  • Provision of trees for incorporation into forest restoration schemes;
  • Provision of appropriate trees for homesteads and support for their cultivation

The project's overall goal will be establishing endangered trees in restored forests and home gardens; and extension of the project to other countries. The project gives a new purpose for African botanic gardens linking them with the forestry sector and a recognition that endangered trees can be conserved. We plan to measure the availability of appropriate trees for planting schemes and the development of long term partnerships.

The project is ambitious and the main risk is that we cannot meet expectations. We’ll avoid this using a phased approach and by working with botanic gardens who are already committed to conserving endangered trees. The project will report to donors on a six monthly basis or as required.


Our partners are botanic gardens in Uganda, Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo. Appropriate forest locations will be selected through the project’s workshops.


Botanic gardens will be supported in Uganda, Kenya and DRC, providing employment in countries with high levels of poverty. Local communities will benefit from the provision of tree species that will help enhance their livelihoods. The planting of endangered African tree species will help conserve resources that are socially, ecologically and economically important.

Why Us?

BGCI is the only international organisation supporting plant conservation through botanic gardens worldwide. We have extensive experience in conservation assessment and action for tree species and working with botanic gardens in Africa. We are working internationally; and collaboratively with local communities.


The total budget is £ 209,000 and the Rufford Foundation have guarenteed £10,000