This past year we have seen some amazing growth both in the numbers of people that we are reaching and in the effectiveness of our program. Our work is still focused on areas of intractable poverty and environmental degradation, where we catalyze a vir-tuous cycle of environmental restoration, economic opportunity, and spiritual renewal. It is still the stories of individual changed lives that drive us. However, it is valuable to look at the big picture and review where we have come in the last year.Our Village Savings and Loan Associations program continues to grow, anchoring our economic opportunity efforts. At the end of the ﬁscal year, we had 312 groups and as of this writing, that number has grown to 425, allowing over 10,000 families to build ﬁnancial safety nets and create small businesses. We have empowered partnering farmers to improve crop production while developing more sustainable farming systems. In post-conﬂict Burundi we have become a key partner in an international effort to revitalize agriculture. In the area of environmental restoration, 2.24 million trees were plant-ed—a new record—with more than half of those being planted in Tanza-nia. There, our local director Richard Mhina discovered that recognition and friendly group competition are better incentives than the traditional subsidies of many African development programs. This became the focus of his recently completed MBA thesis. Spiritual renewal continues to take a number of different forms, with most of our work focused on strengthening local churches. However, one of the most innovative approaches is that used by Lazare Sebeteriko, our director in Burundi, whose “Theology of Work” curriculum encourages returning refugees to discover their God-given purpose. These multi-day workshops are in demand all over Burundi and in neighboring Congo, and usually lead to requests for accompanying Village Savings and Loan Associations programs and agricultural training, stretching our capacity.Among the things I ﬁnd most exciting are the many ways we have im-proved our ability to measure impact. We are now using satellite imagery to track vegetation change in entire regions and have digital proof that our efforts actually are reversing deforestation and poverty. Conﬁrming our hypothesis that healthy forests result in cleaner water, we have also measured dramatic decreases in waterborne illness. Finally, by using sat-ellite information in our planning, and taking into account the watersheds that villages are located in, we can further maximize our positive impact on downstream health. None of this would be possible without your support and prayers. Thank you so much for being a part of the team.
Scott Sabin Executive DirectorWith Gratitude,
DEAR FRIENDS OF PLANT WITH PURPOSE,
Almost 30 years ago, my husband and I attended Plant With Purpose’s ﬁrst gala. We were extremely impressed and inspired by the vision of combining environmental, economic, and spiritual renewal—three things we cared deeply about—in one ministry. We were immediately hooked, and our com-mitment has not wavered. This year we will cel-ebrate not only the thirtieth anniversary for our marriage but also that of the founding of Plant With Purpose. In the last 30 years, we have watched the dream of sharing God’s love by re-versing the cycle of poverty become a reality in the hundreds of villages with whom Plant With Purpose has partnered around the globe. Plant With Purpose is a core part of our family. As a family, we have visited the programs in the Dominican Republic, Tanzania, Burundi, and Thailand. Excitement for Plant With Purpose has also taken root amongst our friends. For the past three years, a group of women from my Bible study joined me on a Vision Trip to Mexico. In Chipegenio, a community previously ravaged by deforestation and drought, a man named Alejandro described the transformation to us, “This project has changed many aspects of our lives. Now we have hope.” His brother Abundio chimed in, “Before, there was a lot of immigration. Now the people are staying. God is opening doors to provide support, and Plant With Purpose is giving support and guidance. Trees are life. When there are trees, there is life and hope.” This transformation is happening because people like you support this holistic approach to healing poverty. 2013 brought new friends, new milestones, and new momentum toward achieving our future aspirations. Thank you for your partnership with Plant With Purpose, with farmers and villagers around the world. You are God’s hands to them—touching, loving, and healing.
Catherine Lundy Board ChairBlessings,