As we near the end of 2018, we feel that now is a prime time to look back at 2018’s successes and share some of those highlights with you while we prepare for a busy 2019!
Back in the spring, Anna (Communications & Campaigns Coordinator) visited some of our East African projects which have benefited from Size of Wales support to better understand the work of these projects and some of the challenges the communities face. Anna brought back a deeper understanding and some great stories and images from the communities which we will continue to share with you.
In the summer we saw Wales celebrate Go Green Day in June for the first time. It is always a great day and we love to watch Wales turning green, both literally by wearing green clothes and wigs and by the pledges you make to become greener.
On November 6th (UN Day for Preventing Environmental Exploitation in War and Armed Conflict) we held a panel event – a first for Size – to discuss how conflict is a driver for environmental damage and how resource rich lands seem to be at the core of this. We welcomed BBC correspondent Wyre Davies to chair the event, and we also had an amazing panel: with Sakina Sheikh, an activist and councillor for Lewisham; academic Dr Ignasi Torrent; and gorilla conservationist in Democratic Republic of Congo with Fauna & Flora International, Angelique Todd. Each member of our diverse panel shared inspiring views and informed approaches towards the themes of the evening. We are looking forward to holding similar events in the new year, and we hope to see you there.
Giving us a warm feeling all winter long is our Ten Trees for Christmas campaign. We are calling on the people of Wales and further afield to consider the environmental cost of Christmas, and to opt for a more ethical Christmas.
All donations will go to the Mbale Trees Programme to plant fruit trees in families’ gardens across Mbale providing a boost to sources of income and nutrition.
So far, your donations will already help the team on the ground rear and distribute thousands of fruit tree seedlings but there’s no such thing as too many trees so if you would like to donate, visit our campaign page and have an ethical Christmas with Size.
We have received amazing support this year to help in furthering the progress of our international work as well as our Wales-based Education Programme.
With support from the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust and Hub Cymru Africa, we held special schools’ events celebrating rainforests and strengthening relationships between Welsh and Ugandan twinned schools. We also held training sessions to equip teachers with the knowledge, resources and confidence to teach climate change to their pupils.
We send big thanks to Bower Trust, DS Smith, Chapman Trust, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Hub Cymru Africa, Ernest Kleinwort, Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust for their support this year.
We would also like to take this opportunity to send thanks to The Learned Society of Wales, the Future Generations office and Global Call for Climate Action for offsetting their emissions with us. Whilst each of the above organisations endeavour to keep emissions as low as possible, certain emissions are unavoidable and this is where Size of Wales and our forest protection projects are able to help. Tropical forests can absorb up to 30% of global carbon emissions which means they play a key role in the global strategy to fight climate change. If you would like to offset your emissions with us, get in touch.
We also made some new friends, shout outs to Eartha; Holy Yolks; neighbours of ours, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama; storyteller Angie Kirby who wrote a beautiful poem for us; and conceptual artist Aboutface who visited the Wampis indigenous peoples in Peru to record the sounds of their environment for an improvised performance at UK festival Freerotation who are long-time friends and supporters of Size of Wales.
2018 also marked ten years of the amazing Plant! Scheme which is totally unique to Wales. Plant! celebrates each child born or adopted in Wales by planting two trees – one in newly created Welsh woodland and the other in Mbale. Here’s to the next 10 years!
We also welcomed back Aimee Parker back from maternity leave into her new role as Forest Project Coordinator and recruited Deirdre Raffan into the role of Education Coordinator
Recently, we bid farewell to Rita Singh who had led the team as Director for the past 18 months. We are excited to be starting a new year and a new chapter with newly appointed Director, Elspeth Jones and a full team!
Stay tuned in early 2019 for some exciting announcements and from all of the team at Size of Wales, many thanks for all your support this year. Here’s wishing you a peaceful and ethical Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2019!