Contour is committed to our R.O.S.E. program, which stands for "Reinvest, Outreach, Sustainable and Empower." Because of this, we are happy to share that we have officially partnered with Root to Fruit, a non-profit organization that plants trees throughout the country of Malawi. We are their first and only American partner. Deforestation has been an issue facing the country for many years, and Contour is pledging to do what we can to help offset the problem. We are pledging to plant up to 20 trees for every piece of functional art sold in America.
(Master Banda, Root to Fruit Operations Manager.)
None of this would be possible without the leadership of Chris Bridges and the expertise of Master Banda, who is a former national park ranger in Malawi. We appreciate Mr. Banda's keen insight on indigenous plant materials in East Africa. He is passionate about connecting to beneficiaries in the community, and sharing knowledge about the importance of native trees. As a former landscape architect, I have real world experience with designing and building beautiful outdoor spaces that connect people and yield memories. These design projects in America often tied communities together by creating unique and unforgettable sensory experiences, but none of the projects I worked on involved a concept that could actually extend the life of a community.
(Three generations of carpenters. All participants in the Root to Fruit program.)
Because of our work in Malawi, I have learned so much more about the inherent value of trees and the importance of educating rural communities about the benefits of just one tree. In Malawi, trees serve as meeting places, as medicine, as food, as shade, as firewood and when mature, as timber for local handmade furniture businesses. Along with water from Lake Malawi, trees are literally the lifeline of the country. We wanted to partner with Root to Fruit in order to help preserve Malawi's natural resources, but we didn't realize that the project would also cultivate human resources across the country.
We are proud of the partnership and we look forward to helping in any way we can.
(A local hospital where Root to Fruit trees are planted.)
For more information about the program, click the link to the Root to Fruit website: http://roottofruit.