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Jemila's Story

Jemila in her home

Meet Jemila

Jemila lives in northern Ethiopia where the effects of deforestation and the climate crisis are already clear to see. Her local forest is in the last green belt before the desert. But without action it could be extinct in the next 20 years.

But Jemila is hopeful that support from the Future Forest project, her community will be able to protect the local Metema forest so that they can live from the trees for years to come. 

Before the project

Like many women in this area, Jemila works hard tending crops for very little money. But erratic rainfall, caused by changing weather patterns, means that her crops are often wiped out. She said, "Many farmers are affected by high rainfall and their crops are damaged."

Although her local frankincense forest provides an alternative source of income through the selling of frankincense resin, she worries that the forest won't be around for much longer; "People engaged in frankincense collection are not tapping the trees in the appropriate way. As a result, trees are falling down."

"When I was a child the forest in the area was intact, but now the forest resources are shrinking at an alarming rate."
Jemila, Metema, Ethiopia

How the project will help

With your support and match funding from the UK government, we will be able to work with Jemila and her community through the Future Forest project.

The project will support Jemila with tools and training to sustainably tap frankincense trees and sell the resin for use in essential oils. She will also learn how to protect the forest so that its trees can boost soil fertility and provide a source of income, even when other crops fail. This will help Jemila and her community to build resilience to the climate crisis.

Metema, Ethiopia

With support, we hope to benefit from forest resources and lead our lives in a better way.

Jemila smiling and standing in front of a tree in her community

Looking to the future

Although life isn't always easy for Jemila, she works hard everyday to build a better future for her children. She said, "What I am suffering for my children right now, is to make sure they live a better life and I am working hard to make their dreams become a reality."

Jemila is hopeful that with support from the Future Forest project, she can work with her community to save the Metema forest from extinction and secure its future for her children. "If community awareness is improved, we can protect the frankincense trees from extinction in the area."