Why is your support needed?
Natural resources, such as forests and trees, are an important source of income for local people in the Kilimanjaro region. The sale of timber, the production of charcoal, and the agricultural use of former forest land are often the livelihoods for many village families. The lack of knowledge about the consequences of deforestation as well as a lack of alternatives to income generation lead to the continued deforestation of large forest areas and thus the loss of natural resources and the region's unique biodiversity. Soil erosion and drought are serious direct local consequences.
What does the project do?
Mzee Sikiefu, a retired local teacher, has been running a tree nursery near the village of Mweka at an altitude of around 1600 meters (5250 ft.) since 2011. He breeds native tree species and sells the seedlings to major reforestation activities, which he and his team also direct as expert supervisors. In addition, seedlings are distributed free of charge to the local population during the rainy seasons (March-June and October-December). The rainy seasons are particularly suitable for planting. In places with natural water resources exist, planting is however done year-round. Mr. Sikiefu's organization also carries out plantings on its own, free of charge, on many public sites, such as school grounds.
Additionally, the organization organizes workshops at primary and secondary schools, an for the population of the surrounding villages. The workshops are about environmental protection and sustainable and resource-saving ways of income-generation through agriculture. Every Saturday, local children come to the nursery, participating in workshops. They can also use the small library that Mzee Sikiefu has set up. The topics of the workshops for the villagers include resource-efficient cooking with energy-efficient stoves, fish farming (there is also a fish pond at the tree nursery), handicraft production for the tourism industry, and stingless beekeeping for honey production.
The project also has a collaboration with Mweka Wildlife College, which is the only Wildlife Ranger education center in Tanzania. The Tanzanian students of the Wildlife College also attend the workshops of Mr. Sikiefu. Each participant of our World Unite! program in Mweka will be given a tour of the Wildlife College and will be able to participate in select Wildlife College activities.
As a volunteer, you actively contribute to the conservation of Mt. Kilimanjaro's unique ecosystem and you help the the local population with the development of environmentally-friendly and sustainable sources of income. At the same time, you can learn a lot, for instance about tree cultivation, and sustainable grassroot solutions to urgent environmental issues.
A typical week at your project:
Around Mweka Village, the activities are led by Mr. Sikiefu, a retired teacher who dedicates his passion to environmental protection. Mr. Sifiefu sets up a weekly plan for volunteers and interns, with a variety of different activities in which you join a group of other participants. Those who prefer specific areas of activity may also spend more time or even full time on just one or a few selected activities.
Which are your main tasks?
- Working at the nursery (soil preparation, plant breeding, pruning, irrigation, etc.)
- Planting trees
- Assisting with workshops at schools / kindergartens / in the village
- Asssiting with Environmental Education Programs
- Support with fish farming / beekeeping / crafts
Location: Mweka Village/Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Week
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Swahili
Host Family in Mweka Village, Mother Nature Forest Camp Kilimanjaro (from October 2018)
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: BA Community Development
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
No formal qualification required
Further Contribution To Project: No
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: No
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?