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FOR

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Diego Citizen Changes Lives and the Landscape of Mt. Kilimanjaro
Plant With Purpose advocate returns to celebrate program accomplishments in Tanzania
SAN DIEGOJanuary 13, 2016 Avid mountain climber Cindy Outlaw first conquered Mt. Kilimanjaro in
2000. While trekking, her guide told her about the dilapidated state of the school in his village. One year later
she found herself with a group of college students building a school in Masia Mamba, on the slopes of Mt.
Kilimanjaro. During the three-week project, Outlaw was struck by the malnutrition she saw in the children
and the deforestation of the local rainforest.
Upon returning to San Diego, Outlaw recalled an organization that addressed the very issues of poverty and
environmental degradation. A meeting was arranged with executive director, Scott Sabin. Plant With
Purposes board approved an exploratory trip in 2003 and one year later the Tanzanian program launched.
What Outlaw witnessed first-hand was backed by global research. More than 95 percent of the population of
Tanzania utilizes biomass in the form of fuelwood or charcoal for daily cooking. The rate of deforestation is
higher than the regrowth rate, which leads to environmental degradation in the form of soil erosion,
decrease in soil moisture, and loss of nutrient rich topsoil. These factors cause crops to produce weak yields
further impacting subsistent level farming families. In rural areas, 45 percent of children under five live in a
state of chronic undernutrition. Food insecurity and poverty are key factors contributing to malnutrition.
Plant With Purpose works to address rural poverty at its roots. Reforestation projects are revitalizing the soil
on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Sustainable agriculture training is allowing farming families to increase crop
yields. Community-based savings groups provide a safe place to accumulate funds for larger projects such as
home improvements, investments in farms, or starting small businesses.
Solutions to the problems Outlaw witnessed years ago have become reality because of Plant With Purpose. A
young mother shared with Outlaw that in the past she could not feed her children enough food to keep them
nourished. Malnutrition left her children weak. After walking to school, they would fall asleep lacking the
energy to learn. Plant With Purpose taught this mother how to grow enough food to feed her family. Her
children are now thrivingvibrant and doing well in school.
Cindy Outlaw returns to Mt. Kilimanjaro this week. Rather than celebrating the accomplishment of climbing
the Roof of Africa, Outlaw will be celebrating the transformation of 7,129 families at Plant With Purpose
Tanzanias annual group competition award ceremony and organic agricultural festival. An expected 4,000
participants will gather on January 14, 2016 acknowledging the achievement of planting more than 1.5
million trees in 2015 alone. Outlaw acknowledges that this competition has led to major program expansion
and acts as a catalyst for other communities to partner with Plant With Purpose.
The program continues to drive impact. Stories of hope abound as families work to transform the conditions
of their lives and that of their homes in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro.


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About Plant With Purpose
Plant With Purpose (plantwithpurpose.org) is an international development organization that transforms
lives in rural areas where poverty is caused by deforestation. For more than 30 years, Plant With Purpose has
provided lasting solutions to rural poverty through a community development approach that integrates
reforestation, sustainable agriculture programs, economic opportunity through microfinance, and local
leadership development. Plant With Purpose currently works in more than 425 communities in seven
countries: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Tanzania,
and Thailand. The organization has planted over 16 million trees worldwide.
For interviews, inquiries, or additional information on Plant With Purpose, including videos or photos, please
contact Becky Rosaler.
Contact: Becky Rosaler

Marketing and Events
800.633.5319 Office

760.650.2819 Cell


becky@plantwithpurpose.org
plantwithpurpose.org

View Planting For Generations, a video highlighting Plant With Purpose partnering farmers and the group
competition in Tanzania.