We lauched our Tree Adoption Program in December and are happy to report that we have adopted out 15 trees to international adoptees, in addition to 30 to in country individuals (Mekeka Designs adopted 12 of these!) Through this program we raised over $475 for BOFTA to use to use to support their makers and grow their program.
Peter just sent me updates on how they are using the money. They were able to purchase 15 mallets from Mr. Zziwa Fred, who had carved these alongside his brother. These mallets and trees are quite expensive and getting more rare because the trees they use are harder to find.
The money has also been able to support Peter and his team in going to local farms and beginning a tree census. They are recording trees and the sub-species so that as research into the material progresses, and hopefully demand increases, they have a system for producing 100% traceable barkcloth that supports both the processor and farmer.
We are excited that each adoptee received a geo-location data for the tree alongside information about the farmer, barkcloth processor, tree species, age, and more. This is incredible information to gather and record, since these trees can produce bark once a year for up to 100 years! We will continue and expand this program in 2023 in hopes that we can establish a system where adoptees can source the barkcloth from their tree one day!