They say money doesn’t grow on trees. But in Bumpeh Chiefdom in rural Sierra Leone, new parents are banking on it.
Through Sherbro Foundation’s Growing a Baby’s Future project, impoverished families in remote villages have a chance for the first time to save for their child’s education. Our grassroots partner, the Center for Community Empowerment and Transformation (CCET), is reaching places foreign aid – or even government funding — never reach.
The chiefdom is creating a living trust fund for the next generation by planting trees. And they’re doing it by relying on the Chiefdom’s only resources – its fertile land, water and agricultural skills.
Paramount Chief Charles Caulker realized the chiefdom can’t wait for outside help; for “someone” to create a social safety net for children. In a country devastated by both the Ebola virus and a long civil war, the wait is endless. He and CCET organized a major fruit tree planting project for the chiefdom, trees raised themselves from seed.
Only $20 will Grow a Baby’s Future in three steps:
- Three fruit trees are planted for each newborn baby. The income from fruit sales will go into an education savings account for each baby at the new community bank. By age 12, there will be money to pay the child’s secondary school fees.
- Sherbro Foundation is seeding the bank accounts by paying the $3.50 minimum deposits.
- And to make every child count, we are also is helping the chiefdom start a birth registry. Rural areas today have no birth registration. Without birth certificates, people can be denied birthrights of land ownership, voting and health care.
CCET and the people of Bumpeh are determined to raise thousands of citrus, mango, avocado, coconut, cashew and teak seedlings for newborn babies and their future education. Families will reap their bounty for years to come.
CCET plans to expand their tree nurseries – already boasting 40,000 seedlings – to sell to local farmers, too. This will generate income for the program to become self-sufficient.
Growing a Baby’s Future is facing a backlog of 1,000 babies after it was interrupted by the yearlong Ebola crisis.
CCET only needs our seed money to secure a baby’s future. You can help – donate here.