Our tree planting policy
Orphans to Ambassadors works to empower marginalized children in developing countries by providing sustainable services and technologies to select institutions, helping them become self-sufficient and improving their quality of life. Planting trees is one way to show our commitment to the environment. In the fall of 2014, we began a new program to provide each site we visit with a newly planted tree.
Just a few hundred years ago, forests covered 50% of the land area on our planet, but due to deforestation they cover only 30% of land area today. Deforestation has plagued nearly every corner of our planet. At its current rate, deforestation could wipe out all of Earth's forestlands in one hundred years. With the countless health and environmental benefits trees provide us, the importance of healthy forests cannot be emphasized enough. They clean our air, they protect our soil, and they create shelter where there would otherwise be none.
By planting a tree at each project site, we aim to improve the surrounding environment and combat deforestation and soil erosion. Tree foliage cleans the air by absorbing pollutants such as carbon dioxide and turning it into the oxygen we breathe. Trees also capture smog-producing compounds such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, ozone, and ammonia. This process is incredibly important in places where air quality is poor, as can frequently be found in developing nations. The advantages of planting trees are endless - they moderate air temperature, block noise, provide an aesthetic quality, and help prevent water pollution and soil erosion. While working to leave the site in a better state than we found it, we will educate the children on basic environmental science and help them become stewards of the planet. This project has the potential to influence the present and future physical environment of the affected areas and will promote our environmentally sustainable ideals.
Along with environmental benefits, planting a fruit or nut tree at each site can provide the orphanage with a long-lasting resource. The orphanage can harvest the fruit to feed the children, introducing a more nutritious diet into their everyday lives. The staff can also raise funds by selling the fruit, nuts and wood obtained from the trees in local markets. Depending on the species of tree, this can benefit the community by providing locally made medicines, cooking necessities and hygiene products all while promoting natural goods and sustainable agriculture.
Leaving behind a living, growing tree is also a beautiful way to keep Orphans to Ambassadors' legacy alive at the homes of the people we fight for everyday - the children. Our trees serve as a visual reminder of the hard work and success of our partnerships and growing relationships with the orphanages we visit.
We have the opportunity to plant a multitude of trees around the world to combat deforestation and to provide our partner institutions with an additional way to become self-sufficient. Planting trees is a cheap, cost-effective way to promote sustainability. We will start by planting one tree at each orphanage, though there is much room for growth. Depending on the conditions of the project, there is the possibility of planting entire orchards to benefit the community. There is no telling how far and wide impacts of growing one tree will be.