Thursday, 20 May 2010

Palm Trees offer more than just shade

We've all seen the classic desert island picture, a small piece of land, one palm tree, a marooned sailor resting under its leaves.

We've all dreamed of beaches in the Bahamas, blue seas, white sands ringed with palm trees, and the perfect holiday.

But to some people, a palm tree is far, far more than a source of shade on a hot day, or an element in a picture postcard setting. For Sister Faye, World In Need's representative in Thailand, palm trees are, quite literally, life savers.

Siser Faye explains:

We have schools and community projects in southern Thailand. We educate children and enable them to achieve their full potential, and we support families. We also have people we've trained, who are expanding the work into the middle and north of the country. However, the work costs money, and there is always a fund shortage.

Our dream is for the projects we run to be completely self sufficient and able to sustain themselves, and perhaps even to grow. For this, we need an income.

Palm trees grow quickly. Three years after first planting, we can harvest the palm oil from them. This oil is valuable in the aviation industry and is in demand. With what we can make by selling the oil from 200 trees, we can pay the entire costs of our projects and make ourselves self sufficient and self sustaining. We have the land but we need to buy the trees to plant there.

Palm trees are sold at $10 (about £6.50) each. This means the 200 trees Sister Faye requires would cost a total of $2000 (approximately £1350). Allowing for extras such as fertiliser, the project could be running if we can raise $2200 (about £1500).

The trees would allow Sister Faye to build on her work, and would freeWIN funds, currently used for that work, enabling us to help even more people throughout the world. Sponsorship of children would continue unchanged.

Now all we have to do is raise £1500...

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