MALIK NDAO

Trees Make Dreams Come True


A few years ago, Malik Ndao’s Senegalese village was surrounded by barren land and dying soil. He struggled to farm this desolate, treeless landscape. Despite his backbreaking efforts to work the thin dry soil, he could not produce enough to feed himself, his wife and their five children. Malik would leave his family for months at a time to work in markets across Senegal, earning tips by pushing wheelbarrows and carrying heavy boxes. Still, it was never enough. Even when hunger drove his family to forage the local forests for food and firewood, they could barely gather enough to survive. Caught in a cycle they could not break, Malik and his family could only dream of a better life.

...the better life Malik dreamed of, living self-sustainably on land he can depend on to feed and support his family, became a reality.

But then Paper Culture’s partner Trees for the Future, a nonprofit organization that helps communities around the world plant trees, contacted Malik and his wife, educating them about ways to grow and cultivate a forest. Together, they planted a Forest Garden System with over 2,400 trees that provide Malik’s family something valuable to use, trade or sell year-round through sustainable forestry.

Malik’s two-acre plot now generates over $1,250 income per year – five times what Senegalese maize and peanut farmers typically earn cultivating the same amount of land! Not only does the whole family have enough to eat, but Malik and his wife are able to save for their children’s’ future. Thanks to Paper Culture’s customers and Trees for the Future, the better life Malik dreamed of, living self-sustainably on land he can depend on to feed and support his family, became a reality.