PEFO designed a tree-for-education/pension and environmental conservation initiative (TEPECI) with the aim of creating education and old age insurance using locally available resources. Through the TEPECI initiative pilot project, each of the participating OVC owns between 50 – 200 selected fast growing commercial trees (depending on availability of land). The trees are planted by OVC and their caretakers supervised by PEFO, on respective beneficiary plots of land and, are tended by OVC and caretakers.
The tree-for-education project targets OVC while they are still at lower primary level. As OVC in participating households gradually go through primary and high school education, the planted trees will too, gradually grow into mature logs that are expected to be sold as timber for income at the time when the participating OVC need money to pay for their university or vocational education.
With the trees for pension, the project promotes slow growing Mvule and Musizi indigenous species with a very long life span such that they can only be available for timber use during the old age for the participating youths and can only be used as a source of pension during the old age.
Both tree species can be inter-cropped in crop garden with minimal effect on crops. The rational is that you plant trees to reduce financial vulnerability during the old age since Africa still lacks well developed pension mechanisms to support their elderly persons.