Refreshed Magazine

download Refreshed Magazine

of 3

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of Refreshed Magazine

  • 8/10/2019 Refreshed Magazine


  • 8/10/2019 Refreshed Magazine


    J.K. Shea stood just outside a crim-son mud-brick hut with no roof. Thestructure, in a rural area of the East

    African nation of Burundi, was the gath-ering point for a two-year-old microsav-ings group that was helping local womento improve their nancial standing.

    From seemingly vacant hillsides, women, some with babies tightly bun-dled in traditional African shawls hang-ing on their (mothers) backs, came fromall directions to meet in the closest thingto pass for a building that I could see,said an astonished Shea, who arrived atthe spot from a dirt trail.

    The region, dis gured physically andemotionally by genocide, is one of manyadopted by Plant With Purpose, a SanDiego faith-based reforesting effort de-signed to empower residents of develop-ing countries through entrepreneurship,training and discipleship.

    Shea, a member of the ministrysboard of directors, made the trip to as-sess the ministrys outreach.

    As he watched the women arrive, Sheanoted the bursting kaleidoscope as thesun streamed across the owing dresses

    of the women, who formed a semicircleas they sat down together on the oor, within the four electric-red walls. He wastaken by how the program is designed toenhance the culture of these women, notthrust Western traditions upon them inthe name of doing good.

    I had a feeling it was going to be aspecial experience, Shea said.

    He absorbed every word as the womenshared how Plant With Purpose diligent-ly trained them in the microsavings mod-el that has become their trademarkandhow they learned a valuable lesson afteracknowledging that they werent fullyinvested in the process the rst year.

    A severe drought started halfwaythrough the growing season, leavingthem with almost no food at the end,Shea said. This year, they had realizedthat to prevent the same thing fromhappening, they needed to work hardtogether to make sure everyone hadenough.

    Everyone put in extra time to plantenough diverse crops so that even ifsome of them failed, they would still be ne.

    Word of their success quickly spread,resulting in the formation of 31 addi-tional farmer groups.

    People came from all around to ndout how they had done it, Shea said.Often in charitable work, we measurethe success of a charity by the amountthat goes to the eld versus what getsspent on administration.

    When I found out that 31 othergroups had started, based on the successof one Plant With Purpose-facilitatedgroup, not only did I know that we hadsomething special that really works, but Irealized that the impact of our work waslikely far beyond what we would ever beable to know or measurewhich is howit should be.

    Shea, whose family has been involvedin assisted health care for several de-cades, said he became involved in PlantWith Purpose about seven years ago atthe urging of a business coach.

    He thought my personal interestin the power of plants to transform thelives of the needy made Plant With Pur-pose a perfect match, the El Cajon busi-nessman said.

    Fighting extreme poverty by revitalizing the environmentby LORI ARNOLD

    Planting hope

    10 REF RES HED | October 2014

    J.K. Shea, middle, a board member for Plant with Purpose, visits one of the reforestation sites in Burundi adopted by the San Diego-based ministry.

  • 8/10/2019 Refreshed Magazine


    WHO: Plant With Purpose WHAT: Planting Hope Gala

    Dinner and Auction WHEN: October 11, 2014, 5:30pm WHERE: Paradise Point Resort, San Diego WHAT: Dinner with silent and live auctions

    with proceeds to benet farmingfamilies around the world



    Restored livesThe concept of an agricultural mi-

    crobusiness took root for Plant WithPurpose 30 years ago when its founder,Tom Woodward, and his wife, Teresa, were making annual ministry trips to theDominican Republic. Despite consistentefforts to provide food, Woodward wasdiscouraged about a lack of long-termsolutions to hunger and poverty.

    Recognizing that the land providedkey solutions to elevating rural residentsout of poverty, Woodward launched hisministry, then called Floresta USA, asa way to integrate environmental, eco-nomic and spiritual solutions. The three-pronged approach is designed to reversedeforestation, which squelches the abil-ity of smallholder farms to produce sus-tainable crops.

    I see plants as one of Gods everydaymiracles because a plant in the right en-

    vironment, given the right care, can pro- vide usefulnessfood or medicinefor alifetime to a person or family, at almostno cost other than the effort it takes toplant, Shea said.

    Although a cornerstone of their workinvolves tree planting, the ministry alsocombats hunger by providing agricultur-al training that enables farmers to feedtheir families, as well as sell any surplusto bolster their income. Additional pro-grams include micro nance co-ops andchurch development and discipleship.

    12 million trees and countingSince 1984, Plant With Purpose has

    expanded its outreach beyond the Do-minican Republic to include Burundi,Haiti, Mexico, Tanzania and Thailand.Since its inception, the ministry hasplanted more than 12 million trees andpartnered with more than 18,500 fami-

    lies in 370 communities.In Tanzania and Haiti, Plant With

    Purpose has seen a 50 percent reductionin waterborne illness in the communi-ties they work with, Shea said. This wasnever a goal, but it is a byproduct of theright approach to rural transformation.

    Although the transformations can bedramatic within the community, PlantWith Purpose is discovering it is not lim-ited to neighborhoods.

    I was blown away to learn that sat-

    ellite imagery is beginning to show astatistically signi cant increase in greenforest cover around the villages thatPlant With Purpose works with versusa decrease in the surrounding villages where we dont yet have a presence,Shea said. When you can start to see theeffects of our work from space, I feel Ima part of something I can really be proudof.

    On Oct. 11, Plant With Purpose willcelebrate 30 years of ministry with aPlanting Hope Gala at Paradise PointResort in San Diego.

    ro-or a


    Plant with PurposesMethodology of Transformation

    Plant With Purpose reverses deforestationand poverty around the world bytransforming the lives of the rural poor.

    October 2014 | REFRESHED 11

    A womens microsavings group in Burundi dispurses funds to their neighbors. The program is one of severaloffered by Plant With Purpose in an effort to bringnancial stability to impoverished communities.