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Dec 20, 2014 7 Min Read

Looking Back on 2014 & Merry Christmas to All

At Kijani, we are thankfully looking back on a good year 2014. And we hope you are too. Not everything has worked out as planned, but looking back we have achieved a lot and developed as an organization. To name a few of the highlights of 2014:

  • Quite some dedicated young people have joined our team. We have employed our first two employees in Kenya who ensure the continuity of our work with the people in the region. They are working to develop forest based business models together with people from the community, so the forest will provide lasting livelihoods and the health of the ecosystem will be assured sustainably. Moreover we had over a dozen volunteers who helped us with specific projects, from logo design to legal consulting.
  • Thanks to your help, we won the popular choice award and on top also the judges choice award of the MIT Climate CoLab in the land use category. This gives us confidence that our concepts are going into the right direction.
  • We found a name, developed a logo and established organizational design guidelines. Our first website and social media channels are online and we talked with a lot of people who gave us advice and celebrated our achievements with us.
  • In Germany we are finally registered as an NGO and the registration is also on the way in Kenya. Through our Partner-organizations in Germany and the US we have raised first donations of over $3500 and we also attracted first grant money and got our first corporate Sponsor. It is an honor that so many people have confidence in our work and I want to take this opportunity to thank all donors and sponsors very much.
  • We conducted a baseline survey in Marmanet and found out a lot about the demographics and habits of the people on the ground — the full analysis is still on the way. And we also vastly expanded our Partner network in Nairobi and internationally, to harness the experience of organizations who have tackled similar problems.
  • Together with our Partner Plant for the Planet and 34 kids from the region, we explored the importance of trees for our climate and planted the first 100 trees (read more here).
  • In Nairobi we established a first tree nursery to test the cultivation of different indigenous tree saplings. Right now our team is setting up the first tree nursery in Marmanet. There we will grow the seedlings which will be planted during the rain season in April.
  • There are also the first cute little Acacias growing in German living rooms. We successfully tested the simple growing conditions under which those saplings develop best. As a thank you for a donation you can also get a seed and growing instructions, to nurture your own Kenyan tree. If you’re interested send a mail directly to Armin (we haven’t figured out shipping to the US yet, but we will look into it).

We are also working on a detailed annual report at the moment, which will soon be available on our website — which is also being redesigned. If you are interested to read and see more make sure to stop by in our newly redesigned blog.

Two kids in Marmanet, who found there way into a meeting of the Community Forest association. We hope they will have a future in Marmanet.
Two kids in Marmanet, who found there way into a meeting of the Community Forest association. We hope they will have a future in Marmanet.

But it is not just the quantifiable achievements that matter to us. Sometimes the greatest reward for all the work is just a small moment. Like the smile of the kid in Marmanet in the picture above. Christmas reminds us that even the incredibly big tasks start in the most humble way. The baby Jesus, promise of peace in justice on earth, is born in a stable. He doesn’t appear first to the powerful ones but to the shepherds. Because every single person is needed to build this peaceful and just world. This conviction also unites our team members regardless of their spirituality. We want to pass on something from all the blessings and talents we have received. People are always at the center of the work. That is why it is so important to us to not just plant trees, but to develop sustainable livelihoods together with the community. Developing a greener future for the region.

You can gift the reforestation of a couple square meters in Marmanet to a friend. We'll send you a nice certificate on request.
You can gift the reforestation of a couple square meters in Marmanet to a friend. We'll send you a nice certificate on request.

We are looking forward to 2015 and have many plans. To make those happen, we depend on your support. You can do so by donating online. And if you are still looking for a last-minute gift: Why not give the gift of reforestation of a couple square feet in Marmanet. Your donation will help us to put some trees on the ground and make a difference. On request we can digitally send you a beautiful donation certificate. If you have any questions, contact us via phone or email.

School children and Kijani Team members holding their Plant for the Planet Academy certificates after planting the first 100 trees.
School children and Kijani Team members holding their Plant for the Planet Academy certificates after planting the first 100 trees.

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