African Community Project had a great year in 2012 considering our low budget. Lots got done. From collecting and distributing over 10,000,000 seeds from trees we helped communities plant in past years to welcoming a new member into Mukuni Community Forests. Tyume Fish Farm is ran by a group of women and were in need of help to reconstruct their fish farm. This included a new pump for supplying water to the ponds. Also at Mukuni Community Forests a women’s group has now officially taken over the Moringa Orchard and will start producing powder this year. The breakfast feeding program at Chitanga Community School has increased enrolment at the school which has required a third classroom to be built. The list goes on and on; we keep growing. Visit the projects page to see the projects on the go. Our greatest restriction is the lack of funding and we have to turn down communities wanting to join our program of creating community forests and practicing social forestry.
Communities are being educated through the establishment of tree nurseries at the village schools and teaching the teachers, parents and students the need to look after their environments. Skills in growing trees, their uses and the environmental benefits of maintaining a healthy forest take the forefront in these projects. All types of trees are grown, from fast-growing trees like Moringa (health), Leucaena (firewood) and Jatropha (bio fuels) to fruit trees, commercial (pine and eucalyptus) and, most importantly, indigenous trees. Creating sustainable livelihoods from the forest, like charcoal production, beekeeping, basket and mat making, medicine, food (mushrooms and caterpillars), fish farming and tourism, are also important goals.
Since African Community Project involves the whole community, we address problems concerning clean drinking water, schooling and basic health at the same time as we teach environmental education. For example, ACP rebuilds and deepens existing wells and digs new ones, especially at community schools, which also receive blackboards, pencils, chalk, and other school supplies.
ACP staff and volunteers, visit each community supplying seeds, providing environmental education and giving out school supplies and work with the community to maintain a clean safe drinking water system. We work very closely with Traditional Leaders and the community at large to help them achieve full participation for the betterment of the environment and to create sustainable lifestyles.
Our goal is to continue expanding this concept across all of Zambia. We know it works: Since 2003 we have planted millions of trees, provided safe clean drinking water to many communities and provided blackboards and school supplies to many community schools.