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Where trees grow,
people grow.

Wish Trees are a symbol of hope and Peace.
The higher purpose of all of Wish Tree’s work is to support a more loving, peaceful humanity that lives in alignment with our higher selves and with Mother Earth.

Wish Trees are places where we reconnect with our inner truths.

Wish Trees can feel like magical places as they allow us to step out from the busyness of our lives and into a space where all that matters are the whispers of our hearts. Throughout the ages, people from different cultures have come to voice their inner longings and made offerings to Nature – the Great Spirit – to the Universe – by using the ritual of Wish Trees.

Modern Wish Trees often have paper tags with wishes and reflections written on them hanging from their branches. Seeing the wishes of other people floating in the wind connects us to our common humanity.

“When the Earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come onto the Earth from many colours, classes, creeds and who by their actions shall make the Earth green again. They will be known as the Warriors of the Rainbow”

HOPI PROPHECY

I have adored trees since I was a small girl.

 

In the 1980s, my mother introduced me to a charity working in East Africa using Agroforestry to support local communities grow. Every tree that is planted helps to support healthy, sustainable farming and ecosystems. My mum and I used to love planting trees as a gift for loved ones and to mark birthdays, graduations and other life events this way.

When she passed away we planted a whole little forest in her memory.

But my passion for trees didn’t stop here.
One day when I was 11 years old, my mother brought home a magazine for teachers and showed it to me. In the magazine we learned about a little school somewhere in Sweden who had started to raise money so that they could buy rainforest in Costa Rica and save it, preventing it from being cut down. They had even started a charity, called “The Children’s Rainforest” and in the magazine, they were telling us why this business of saving the Rainforest was so important.

I want to do that” I said to my mum,

I too want to save the Rainforest”.

Can we, please?

And so we did.

We started our own little fundraising project with my school friends and their parents, and soon it had become our sole focus when we were not in school. We would campaign in the local square, raising awareness and money, and buying acre after acre after acre of rainforest. It grew and grew and grew, and we became known as the Rainforest kids! Soon we had secured over a million square meters of primary rainforest.

Imagine that.

One million square meters is so big when you are 11 years old.

Rainforests are often called the lungs of the planet for their role in absorbing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and producing oxygen, upon which all humans and animals depend for survival. Rainforests help to reduce the effects of worldwide climate change and produce nourishing rainfall all around the planet.

In addition to the important role rainforests play in Earth’s climate, they are also home to about half of the species of plants and wildlife on the planet, including many medicinal plants used to cure disease. Rainforests are destroyed primarily to create grazing areas for beef-cattle for Burger chains, plant chicken feed for chickens for Fast food companies and citrus trees for Cola companies, palm trees for Palm Oil companies and to sell exclusive timber such as teak, construct roads and dams extract oil, gas and minerals.

The destruction of rainforests accelerates climate change. At the same time, rainforests are threatened by the effects of climate change, such as droughts in parts of the Amazon and Southeast Asian.

Apart from making Earth less inhabitable for people, plants and animals, Climate Change contributes to wars and violence across the globe. Drought, flooding, natural disasters and temperature changes affecting agriculture and crop species drive people to leave their homes, which in turn contributes to regional and global unrest. Some areas of the world are already uninhabitable due to Climate Change. Protecting our only Home – Planet Earth – is crucial to the future of Humanity and the future of Peace.

As an adult I now know that during that time, my friends and I learned that despite being only small, it is possible to make a big difference as long as you have passion and determination and believe in your own power to change the status quo.

In those days, pre-internet, we would wait weeks and weeks for our certificates and updates about the forest to arrive in the post.
We received hand-written letters telling us about the rainforest and the creatures that lived there and any news about spotted Jaguars, Quetzals or Tapiers.
And soon children all over Sweden were involved, raising money to save the rainforest in Central America. And then German children got involved, and British, and North American, and Japanese…The Children’s Rainforest gradually became a global movement of children taking the future of the Planet in their own hands.
And it still is.

Today there is an incredible, vibrant, lush, rich, precious forest in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica heaving with life and oxygen, entitled the “Children’s Eternal Rainforest” [Bosque Eterno de los Niños].

How do I know it’s really there?

Well, because I visited!

 

Yes.
In 2014, my now husband and I decided to elope to Costa Rica and get married. I wrote to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest to tell them we were coming. And they were delighted. In fact, they wanted to give us a tour of the part of the forest where children come to learn about it, as a wedding gift!

We simply couldn’t believe our eyes when we arrived in Santa Elena, Monteverde. The little village that had been described to us in the letters 26 years before, was now a blossoming hub full of scientists and researchers and a whole eco-tourism industry based around the forest. We were told that the forest is one of the most bio-diverse on Earth.

When people asked our reason for visiting, I shared my story about the 11- year old girl who wanted to join a movement of saving their Rainforest.

And then there were tears and there were selfies.

Because they knew about us.
 The Swedish children who were part of the original movement.
There were hugs of gratitude. And laughter and amazement.
 There was awe and wonder when I showed them the original documents and photos from all those years ago.
For a day I was a Rainforest celebrity!

But way more importantly was the peace I felt in the knowledge that the beautiful, vibrant, precious forest I had helped conserve as a child, was still here and growing.

 

To support a more sustainable and peaceful world, each year, Wish Tree plants a glade of Trees in East Africa through Vi Agroforestry and secures rainforest in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest of Costa Rica. Both projects have been running for over 30 years and have transformed the lives of millions of people and species, as well as reduced the effects of climate change.

Square metres of rainforest saved since 2017

Number of trees planted since 2017

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree today”

Martin Luther

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