Help Turn the Desert Green and Bring Life to Darfur

Climate change is top of the agenda world wide, but nowhere is it more harshly felt than in Darfur, where the Sahara is creeping south inexorably.
Darfur is at the forefront of global warming with temperatures soaring to over 50 degrees in the summer months. All surface water evaporates by February each year, leaving the land parched and scorched. Land that was green with trees and water early last century is now a desert for most of the year.   How can families possibly survive? What can be done?

Kids for Kids has been planting drought-resistant trees for vital shade for children and animals and community forests in villages since 2007 when we were the first organization to experiment with reintroducing the Baobab tree. One of the first we planted is now called the Love Tree of Darfur as people carve their initials and hearts into it.

We renovated the tree nursery in El Fasher and planted a demonstration garden to educate the villagers on the benefits of trees. Our demonstration garden in El Fasher the regional capital is the only green space with shade where people can go at the weekends – they picnic in the shade of our trees and children play there.  We therefore provided benches too.

Initially village leaders had said they did not want trees as ‘they attracted birds which ate their seeds’.   We therefore planted trees by schools for the children to water and for them to educate their parents.

Since then we have been planting 14 different varieties of drought resistant trees. All have by-products, such as gum arabic (Acacia Senegal), pesticides (Neem Tree) and citrus fruits, that will add to people’s livelihoods. Citrus trees are thirstier and these are planted by people’s straw huts.   Not only do they provide fruit (Nabuk fruits in June when nothing else is growing) but desperately needed shade for children and animals. It is hard labour to water the trees, with water often miles away across the desert,  but after the first two years the tap roots will have reached the water table, and they will survive.

We also fund the fencing of the community forests (the green belts) and a forest guard for the first two years. He will work with a Forest Committee which we train in the care of the trees, watering the seedlings and harvesting the bi-products. It is important that the village takes ownership of each community forest.  If the water is at a distance we will also fund a water cart drawn by a strong crossbred donkey and a water tank.

A further wonderful outcome is that vegetables are now planted in the shade of our trees.   Often it is the first time vegetables have been able to be grown in a village and the underplanting provides nourishing food for our Goats.

We are now very excited to be planning a Moringa Plantation because there is research showing that moringa seeds purify water. Clean water at last in Darfur.

To date we have planted over 53,000 trees and made great progress but there is still lots to be done! 

Many will have died – as of course can happen anywhere – but the many thousands that have succeeded transform the desert.    We have even planted shade trees at the vast IDP camps.   To see a green canopy over the crowded huts is transformative.

Where our community forests are doing well, animals and birds are returning, which have not been seen for years.  Life returning to the deserts of Darfur.

Can you help us with our Tree Planting projects?

  • £10 ($12.50) plants five seedlings in a community forest
  • £15 ($19) plants three trees outside straw huts in our villages to provide shade and fruit
  • £37 ($46) plants five drought resistant trees to help stop desertification
  • £45 ($56) is enough for 20 fruit trees in a village

Together we can help slow down the spread of the desert, ensure the future of Darfur is green and change children’s lives for good.

Donate Trees for Climate Change today and help children and animals to survive the desert heat, parents to earn a livelihood from the by-products grown and communities to grow green, healthy and flourish.

But trees take time to grow to maturity – and children need help right now.  Across Darfur children are going hungry,  in the wake of drought, crop failure and soaring inflation. Don’t forget, our Goat loan helps families immediately when the poorest families receive 5 nanny goats which provide desperately needed milk, but also in the future when, after 2 years, as the flock grows, 5 nanny goats are passed on to another family to benefit. Help now and you will be helping generations to come.

For every donation made, you can opt to receive a gift certificate to give to a loved one – perfect for an upcoming birthday or special occasion for a true Eco-Warrior!