Rainforest Trust shares a dream with our supporters: that rainforests and the species that call them home will survive far into the future, beyond our lifetimes and those of our children and grandchildren. Safeguarding these crucial habitats is a gift for the future, a legacy of which we are proud. We are always inspired by the children who support our work and were thrilled to learn about two sisters from the UK, Emily and Ava Ford (ages 9 and 7), who decided to save the rainforest in a very unique way: by making and selling lizard keyrings.
Emily and Ava first became interested in the rainforest at school. Their teacher gave a presentation on the Brazilian rainforest and its importance which captivated the girls. Their mother, Rachael, recalls, “Emily came home from school that day and was totally enthused about the idea of raising money to save acres of the rainforest.” Seeing as the girls also have a love for arts and crafts, Rachael encouraged them to combine their interests, and thus the lizard keyring was born.
“Emily and Ava love arts and crafts, so we decided to make the lizard keyrings out of pony beads and ribbon to sell at school,” said Rachael. “The girls were so excited by the project that they even produced their own hand drawn posters.” All-in-all the girls made around 90 lizards at home over a two week period. Most exciting, the girls got their classmates involved by running two lizard making workshops during lunchtimes for ten other girls at school, who helped to make an extra 20 keyrings. “We then sold the lizard keyrings over a two day period at school for £1 each and they went like wildfire!” said Rachael. The lizard keyrings were so popular that they still had people asking for them days after the sale was over, including our very own Rainforest Trust staff.
So what was it exactly about the rainforests that sparked this outpouring of creativity and generosity from the girls? “The rainforest is important because if it is destroyed we wouldn’t get enough oxygen or water,” said Emily. “I love animals and know that thousands of species of animals live in the rainforest and I want to protect them,” Ava added.
“The rainforest provides food, oxygen, water and even medicine to make people better…we need to protect it!”
“Each lizard took around 15 minutes to produce, so I was amazed by the girls’ patience and persistence with the project,” said Rachael. “The whole project was incredibly rewarding and educational [for Emily and Ava]…the girls were creative, working on the computer and communicating with teachers. I would seriously encourage schools and groups of children to get involved with similar charitable projects, as it really is beneficial for confidence, literacy, computer skills, learning the value of money and making children feel like they are actually doing something to save our planet.”
And indeed they are doing something very important to help save the planet! But the girls also realize that this problem does not have a quick fix and it will take the dedication of many to solve. “The rainforest is in danger, which causes problems that affect us all, so I would expect other children to save it with me!” stated Emily.
With the proceeds from their sales and their desire to protect Brazilian rainforest, Emily and Ava chose to support our Blue-eyed Ground-dove project in Brazil, which is now fully funded and protected thanks in part to their efforts. The enthusiasm for and dedication to conservation that these young girls exhibited gives us hope and excitement for what the next generation can achieve to help save our Earth’s rainforests.
If you would like to help join Emily and Ava’s fight to save the rainforest, please visit Rainforest Trust’s Conservation Action Fund. For more information about how to donate to Rainforest Trust’s projects from the UK, please visit the Rainforest Trust UK home page.