2014 is now history and we are already well into 2015. In the past year, Better Globe made several sales records, both monthly and for the year. We appreciate our customers purchasing more trees to secure their future, especially since the trees create jobs and take care of the environment.
In 2014, we also celebrated the Better Globe Forestry's 10th anniversary as a company in Kenya and organized barbecue party at the office. I ran a motivation seminar for all employees and told them about our future plans for the next 10 years.
In Kenya, we have progressed in several areas. Our new concept agroecology1 is positively received by all our partners, and we believe this is the best way to begin solving some of Africa's poverty issues. We expect the first of our partner farmers to come from the Kiambere area. We also hope to be able to get started in Sosoma later this year in cooperation with local partner farmers.
In Sosoma we're focusing on planting Acacia Senegal trees, since that area is well-suited for this species. We are still in the process of conducting a feasibility study for spray drying2 gum arabic. When that is finished, we will know more about the extent to which we shall continue to invest in this tree using our own tree plantations and/or partner farmers. We hope the results of the survey will show that our preliminary focus on gum arabic has been the right choice.
As we have published in previous newsletters, Better Globe has already established a microfinance bank in the Mboti area. This bank has now more than 2,000 participating families with loans and savings and is well underway to eradicate their own poverty. While I was in Kenya, we had conversations with our microfinance partner in Kenya K-Rep regarding another microfinance bank, presumably in the Kiambere area. They will first need to conduct a feasibility study in order to determine where the bank should be located to cover as many potential families as possible. After the study is done, we can begin the next step of planning our second microfinance bank.
In 2013-14, we focused mostly on tree maintenance and planted fewer new trees than we initially planned. We are working steadily to achieve better results and a greater survival rate of the mukau trees we have in the driest areas, which we expect to see results from during 2015.
We also had a meeting with our partner ICRAF, which confirmed that there will be an international Agro-Forestry Investment Conference in Kenya in August. Better Globe Forestry will present their program of agroecology for foreign interests at the upcoming investiment conference.
2014 was a very eventful year for Child Africa in several areas:
The picture below shows one of the first two buildings that is under construction. We need approximately 20 buildings before the school is finished and will include nursery, primary, secondary and vocational school. The school buildings will have a relatively high standard compared to other school buildings in Uganda. We do however need help from people, companies, or schools that would like to sponsor a school building or part of one. In Norway, several Norwegian schools have sponsored buildings for us, both on the Equator and in Kabale. We hope that more schools in Norway, Sweden or Denmark could help sponsoring more buildings for us. Please contact Rino Solberg if you know someone who would like to undertake such a task in obtaining sponsorship schools, or know of individuals, organizations, or businesses that could conceivably support our school project.
We have finally opened up for booking of the trip to Kenya and Uganda August 4-20, 2015, where we will visit our plantations and the Child Africa schools. There is limited access to the tour, since we only can have 20 people. We must therefore restrict the participation to adult Ambassadors this time. The registration fee is 1,000 Euros, which can be paid into our account:
Better Globe AS
The total price for the entire trip for one person is 3,500 Euros. This covers all flights, bus tours, lodging and all meals in Africa. The only things NOT covered are $100 for Visa to Kenya and Uganda, as well as $120 for two days in a Safari Park in Kenya. You need to bring a total of $220 in USD. Itinerary and information about the Better Globe Africa trip.
We recommend that you are quick with your booking if you want to join. If it gets fully booked before your money transfer, your money will immediately be refunded. Contact Better Globe's support if you want to double check the booking before you send your money.
We are optimistic that both Better Globe and Child Africa will experience an even better year and we will continue working to eradicate poverty and corruption in Africa.
If you want to feel good, do something for others at www.childafrica.org
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