Reforestation in the Philippines
Saving an Indigenous People

For many years the Rotary Club of Seminole County South has supported the efforts of the Alliance for International Reforestation (www.airguatemala.org).  In their twenty- two year history, this highly successful organization has planted over 4.3 million trees in Guatemala, while improving agricultural success, eliminating mudslides, and improving health standards by providing safe, properly ventilated cook stoves.  The expend a remarkable 94% of donations in the field in Guatemala.

In partnership with The Rotary Foundation, Seminole County South is currently writing a Global Grant that will fund expanding AIR’s programs into the Philippines.  An indigenous people, the Aeta’s, will be the direct beneficiaries of this program, and they are to the Philippines what the Aborigines are to Australia, a struggling primitive people who have been victims of persecution and economic displacement.  The Aeta’s also suffer from the effects of deforestation, mudslides, diseases associated with open cooking fires, and a difficulty in cultivating adequate crops necessary for their survival.

Financial support for this effort has come from the Rotary Club of the Villages, Rotary Club of Sanford-Breakfast, Rotary Club of Dr. Phillips, Rotary Club of Kissimmee, Rotary District 3790 (Philippines), and, of course, Rotary Club of Seminole County South.  To date nearly one half of the $100,000 needed for this project has been raised.  If you would like to contribute to this effort, feel free to contact either Chris Stubbs or Bill Potter at the Rotary Club of Seminole County South.