Bristol based charity TEMWA’s aim is to help build a sustainable future for the people of Malawi through community-based projects; the charity works with the people of Malawi enabling them to become self-sufficient and giving them hope for their families’ futures. The charity is launching a summer long fundraising campaign Trees For Life in urgent response to an imminent new bylaw which will impose heavy fines on community members for cutting down trees.

Deforestation is a huge problem in Malawi; each year more than 120,000 acres of indigenous trees are lost, many of them cut down to make room for crops or to be used as fuel. The high rates of deforestation can have a devastating effect on the human and animal population; the risk of flooding is increased leading to hardship and displacement; soil erosion leads to poor crop yields and there is the loss of countless wildlife habitats.

The government in Malawi are introducing a bylaw which will strictly control the number of trees that can be cut down and particular parts of the forest that are to be preserved; it plans to impose heavy fines. TEMWA supports efforts against deforestation but also wants to ensure the livelihood of community members, people who battle poverty and hunger on a daily basis; the charity accepts that the bylaw is being introduced with the best of intentions but feels it needs to be paired with the education and reforestation programmes that TEMWA provides.

The Trees For Life appeal aims to raise £25,000 which will allow 250,000 new trees to be planted in the Nkhata Bay North Region of Malawi; it is vital that the target is reached before October to allow planting to take place before the rainy season.

TEMWA will work with both businesses and family groups in the UK throughout the campaign, urging supporters to come together to help sponsor tree planting and education in Malawi. The Family Tree Appeal is the family-centred branch of the campaign and will encourage people to raise funds with their own events and activities such as sponsored walks and rock climbs, garden parties, even just one friend emailing another to ask for help.

TEMWA will plant 250,000 trees in nurseries and will educate the community about the care and importance of trees. The project will make a long-term difference to the communities TEMWA works with and will help to provide a better environment for us all; half of the trees planted will be fruit trees and so will also help towards long-term food security in the region.

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