top of page

"Forest Planters are the Roots of the World" - Launching Two New Restoration Projects

In this blog, Tree Partnerships Manager Madeleine introduces two new TreeSisters-supported restoration projects, and the transformational effect environmental protection and nature connection can have on vulnerable communities.


This month, I am delighted to announce the launch of not one but two new restoration projects, one in Bolivia and the other in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with our new partner Voix Libres (Voces Libres in Bolivia).

Voix Libres has been doing transformational work for over 25 years. Their efforts focus on helping the most vulnerable members of society, particularly women and children, overcome trauma and empower themselves through education, training, legal aid and microcredits (small loans designed to support entrepreneurship and alleviate poverty). The team believes deeply in every human being, and it shows in how they work. They are also working to end child labour in mines, landfill sites and on the streets, with many of the team in the Bolivian branch being recipients of Voix Libres’ support in their youth.

Tree planters in Bolivia (Voix Libres)

More recently, Voix Libres started tree planting as part of its programmes, planting trees around the homes of abused children in their care. However, after witnessing nature’s transformational effects and the fundamental link between connecting with nature and wellbeing, this was expanded to the women and communities they worked with.

Both TreeSisters supported projects involve working with 90% women and 95-100% indigenous people to plant “edible squares” of fruit trees in villages and communities living in deforested and arid lands where poverty and lack of essential services and nutritious food are a daily struggle. The project ensures to work closely with local people so that the desire for the edible squares comes from the community members themselves. Both projects take direct climate action in areas where living conditions, crops, ecosystems, and security all feel its effects.

The project in Bolivia will plant over 10,000 trees annually and contribute to reforesting the Tunari National Park in Cochabamba, which has been severely affected by increasingly frequent fires in recent years.

In the DRC, the local implementing partner is AFIA-FEV, an association of nurses who support survivors of sexual violence. Working with over 900 women and young people, they will plant 9,550 trees annually, allowing their beneficiaries to live in a more sustainable environment while benefiting from the trees' fruits and soil regeneration.

A female planter from the DRC (Voix Libres)

In both initiatives, the fundamental vision of the project is to recognise the importance of trees as a foundation for wellbeing and life. Not only do the fruit trees provide food and livelihoods, but they support soils, promote biodiversity, provide shade, and encourage rainfall. In the DRC, the project partner recently reported four times more rainfall in areas where trees have been planted! The increased rain will support a healthier environment, help families improve crop yields, sell more vegetables, and help meet the children’s food, medical care and schooling needs.

The projects integrate training on organic agricultural methods and support women in rediscovering their connection to the land by becoming protectors and passing on these values to their children. They work closely with community leaders to communicate the importance of trees to prevent drought and landslides, as well as for food security and the importance of the environment in cultivating healthy families. The local team in Kivu in the DRC recently shared how they are witnessing a change in mentality there. They shared how the women come together as sisters around the trees and how more women want to join in when they realise their children and grandchildren will eat the fruit they plant. They spoke of their hope that this effect of gathering around the trees could support social cohesion in communities and contribute to ending the war in the DRC. In their words: “Transforming the world through trees.”

Everyone at TreeSisters is inspired by the profound dedication of the Voix Libres teams. Their work is authentic, profoundly heart-based, and grounded in the roots of society, protecting the environment and restoration of forests. We are thrilled to partner with them to positively impact the environment and lives of the most vulnerable people in Bolivia and the DRC.


Commenting has been turned off.

Small Running Title

How Your Mangrove Trees are Saving Lives and Landscapes

bottom of page