Written by Alyssa Vandenberg
In 2009, Free the Children, the partnered nonprofit of Humans of Change, created a program called “Buy a Tee We Plant a Tree.” For every t-shirt that Free the Children sells, Free the Children will plant a tree in the Maasai Mara region in Kenya. This Kenyan community depends upon agriculture as a means of livelihood, but due to erosion, many trees in the area must be re-planted. Free the Children focuses on environmental sustainability, ensuring that the new trees are native, that no pesticides are used, and that the trees are only planted in areas where they are guaranteed to thrive.
Free the Children also grows its trees in a sustainable way, thus acting as a model of sustainability for those in the Kenyan community. For example, Free the Children recycles milk cartons by planting the seeds in them, and Free the Children’s water pump for the trees works ten times faster than doing it by hand! Kenyan community members can come to the Free the Children main facility in the village, where they can pick up a tree as well as learn how to take care of it. By having the community members themselves come to pick up the tree, Free the People ensures that the trees are going to people who truly want it and will care for it.