48 new scholarships make sustainability sprout

In 2021, the Fair Trees Fund awarded scholarships to 48 young people, which enables them to get the education they dream of – and thus to contribute to the future development

You get something, and you give something back. That is what happens when the Fair Trees cone seeds are harvested in the more than 100-year-old natural forests in Ambrolauri with respect for the environment, the cone pickers’ safety and with a focus on contributing to the development of the local community.

It also happens every time a Fair Trees Christmas tree is sold in Europe, as a fixed part of the sale is used to give young people in the Ambrolauri region in Georgia the opportunity to get an education. In 2021 alone, 48 scholarships were awarded to young people of the region.

– We give them the opportunity to get an education, which they or their families would have had difficulty financing themselves, says Marianne Bols, proprietor of Fair Trees and founder of the Fair Trees Foundation.

An investment in the future

She is happy every time she sees a young person succeeding in starting his or her education, whether it be within environment, tourism, wine production or law.

– For each young person it is the opportunity to set the course in life of which he or she dreams and to qualify within his or her chosen professional field, Marianne Bols says and continues:

– At the same time, it is also young people who leave the region to study in for example Tbilisi or abroad, to subsequently return to Ambrolauri and thus contribute to the future development of the area.

Young Ani Gurgenidze, who was awarded a scholarship in 2020, is an example of this. She was awarded a scholarship for studying law at the Tbilisi State University.

– This meant that I could begin the education of my dreams, says Ani Gurgenidze, who is already engaged in giving back and is thus involved in one of the projects also supported by the Fair Trees Foundation:

– I work as a volunteer for the Red Cross, and in that way, I can give something back to those who are in need of help.

It all starts with small sprouts

In the same way as the Christmas tree starts with a small cone seed, the Fair Trees Foundation starts its support for education and learning with the youngest schoolchildren. In 2021, through the organisation Save the Children, the fund contributed with a social investment of DKK 400,000 in ”Early childhood distant learning.” Among other things, this has resulted in teaching material for nearly 500 children as well as didactic tools for 50 teachers and 35 day care centres.

– Whether it concerns nature, people and the environment or education, we pursue a circular mindset, and support education of children and young people as best we can. Their knowledge and skills are what will contribute to the development of the future society.

Ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals

With its focus on education, the fund directly addresses Sustainable Development Goal 4 that is to ensure quality education for all.

– By and large, we operate within all the Global Goals because Fair Trees was established out of sustainable thinking at all levels. We believe in the idea that thinking and acting circularly in all areas of life will create the best possible future, Marianne Bols says.

Children in SOS Village receive vital support during Coronavirus

Fair Trees Foundation is distributing funds to ensure children in Ambrolauri get the care, nourishment and remote learning they need during COVID-19.

Children already in need of care are even more affected when daily contact to teachers and classmates is replaced by digital remote learning due to the Coronavirus. Those impacted by this include the children, who together with their foster parents, live in the town of Ambrolauri in Georgia.

Now the children as well as their foster parents are to get much needed and unexpected support.

Fair Trees Foundation is providing a total of GEL 5,000 to eight SOS children to help them through the pandemic and to create improved opportunities for remote learning.

“Right now it’s difficult for the foster family just to make sure that the children receive food and adequate care, which affects their education, which is currently meant to be taking place at home. And we’d very much like to do something about this”, says Zhana Babunashvili, a Fair Trees Foundation project planning and development manager, who recently visited the SOS Children’s Village getting the donation.

The donation includes tablets for digital learning as well as antiseptic products to prevent COVID-19 contagion. Besides, the small family type house got bread baking machine, which will significantly eliminate the costs.

“Children need routine and calm, which allows for both learning and play; while the parents need counselling, information and support to get through the ongoing pandemic. At Fair Trees Foundation we hope that our donation can help with the fulfilment of both”, states Zhana Babunashvili.

Fair Trees is an international Christmas tree producer certified by Fair Trade Denmark and member of WFTO. All our trees are produced with the greatest possible respect for the environment and under the best possible working conditions. The Fair Trees Fund contributes to the education, health and development of the residents of Ambrolauri, Georgia. Over 90% of the Nordmann Christmas trees we sell in Europe are produced in a more than 100-year-old forest in the Ambrolauri region of Georgia. Every year we sell more than 650,000 Fair Trees Christmas in Germany alone.

Learn more at: fairtreesfund.com and www.fairtrees.dk

For more information about our latest donation contact: Marianne Bols, Founder, Fair Trees on +45 40627043 or at mb@fairtrees.dk.