Visual diary of the local youth group’s football team volunteering to build the mud walls for the seedlings planted in 2010 by G-lish Foundation.
Footballers preparing mud
It was around 8 am in the morning; our shadows were still long. We had just finished playing football, as we do every morning in the village, and moved to the area where we planted seedlings to begin building walls.
Football Team helping build walls
We realised that if we didn’t build walls to protect the seedlings for their first 6 months of life, the animals and fowl would destroy them. So, we got set to building mud walls for the seedlings so the fowls could not peck them to death and the goats would be less tempted to chew them. Having said that, most animals don’t like the taste of Neem unless they get desperate.
Making Mud Balls Ghana
Building the Mud Wall to Protect Neem Seedling
Still, we didn’t want to tempt them, so we got to building. Building takes a lot of effort. The digging, the carting water in buckets from the borehole, the mud mixing, the making the balls, the building.
It’s a credit to the footballers that they put their hand up for it.
Local Footballers for Tree Planting
We have more walls to build, but this was a great start. We’ll keep you updated as we progress.
- Enable individuals to earn sustainable incomes through the production of art and craft using environmentally friendly materials.
- Enable individuals to save for important expenses
- Give individuals opportunities to explore their creative potential and develop new viable products
- Pay prices that are considered fair under WFTO fair trade principles
- Implement WFTO fair trade principles
- Find new markets for the sales
recycled Bolga basket
- Training in money management practices and formalizing “susu” saving groups
- Providing materials and remuneration for creative exploration
- Providing samples of alternative work that can be developed using existing techniques thus expanding range of skills and creative ability
- Assess fair trade standards and prices and pay accordingly
- Tap into our existing network of contacts to develop new markets
We are happy to report that, before we began training, some individuals took it upon themselves to begin their own “susu” savings (micro savings) in their respective homes. We’ll explain this further in a separate document.
We have designed this programme along WFTO fair trade principles so that, in future, when we have the money and a documented track record, we can apply for fair trade certification to formalize the organization as a fair trade organisation. Meanwhile, we are implementing the principles one by one and shall outline this in more detail in future reports.
Ghana’s current population is estimated to be about 23 million people. Half of this number (11.5 million) consumes at least one sachet of pure water per day. The average weight of one empty sachet is 3.5 grams. That equals 38,500 kilos of plastic waste a day, or 38.5 tonnes.
90% of Ghana’s forest cover has been lost to logging since 1957.
- Ensure environmental conservation
- Ensure environmental regeneration
- Increase knowledge of the benefits of raising trees
- Increase knowledge of the detrimental effects of polluting the environment including the impact of rubbish and also “galamsey” (illegal gold mining—which happens in this area) on health of humans and ecosystems.
- Educate on the basics of climate change awareness and its impact on rural, agricultural communities
- Implement the “One basket – one tree” programme
Carrying mango seedlings for planting
- Using plastic bags that are littered everywhere in communities in the production of craft and art. This helps reduce the harmful effects of plastic waste and pollution on local eco-systems.
- Using scrap cloth to create craft and art together with the plastic rubbish
- Planting trees as a multi-pronged approach to environmental regeneration and community engagement.
- Workshops to explain the effects of pollution and potential effects of climate change in future
- Community will plant one tree for every craft item they produce
Basketmaker and dry-season environment
This will have environmental, social and economic benefits to the community:
- Improve the vegetative cover of the savannah zone and stem desertification
- Reduce the threat of climate change by reducing green house gases
- Create sources of food, nutrition, shade and shelter (community rest and meeting places) for years to come
Statistics for recycled basket production: One basket consumes a minimum of 230 sachet bags and half a kilo of scrap cloth. One basket leads to the reduction of plastic waste in Ghana by 595 grams, or just over half a kilo and half a kilo of cloth.
In addition, to make the tree planting a success we involve local community groups as well as the crafts people in the planting and upkeep of the trees. To date, the groups have been extremely helpful and supportive.
350 "pure water" plastic bags cut and ready to twist
Posted in G-lish Programmes
Tagged "pure water", climate change, cloth, conservation, education, environment, food source, global warming, gold mining, nutrition, plastic, pollution, protection, regeneration, Tree Planting, trees, waste, workshops
- Raise awareness of common health-related problems that afflict rural, poor communities in Ghana and give the communities the means to find solutions to the problems.
- Lack of knowledge about basic diseases and prevention
- Lack of access to medical help
- Lack of ability to pay for health care.
Basket makers with their children
Areas requiring awareness raising include
- Organizing immunization against preventable diseases
- Classes on preventative health practices such as sleeping under mosquito nets and preventing bites, washing hands with soap, keeping children and babies as clean as possible.
- Gynecological health, common diseases, and healthy practices
- Sexually transmitted diseases and prevention
- Common digestive ailments and solutions
- Common urinary ailments and solutions
- Common muscular ailments and solutions
- Common skeletal ailments and solutions
- Common viruses and solutions
- Common infections and solutions
“The Tree Bank”
Not all members of the community are involved in craft production but they still require access to funds for health care. To cater to everyone in the community, we are designing a programme that may be able to accommodate everyone where we operate.
The concept is that individuals have the option to access financing for basic medical assistance up to a capped amount (yet to be finalized). If the amount exceeds this we will consult with all involved to find a solution.
The underlying philosophy is to support traditional community networks and encourage community involvement by empowering the community in the aid of its members across the spectrum of problems they encounter in their daily lives.
The person in need will be able to access the funds needed for their health care, but only in exchange for an undertaking to plant a number of trees to the value of the amount of money requested—an undertaking which must be guaranteed by one other person in their family or the community.
This is the basic concept of a “tree bank”: in exchange for money for health needs you plant trees or have someone in your family or community agree to plant them for you.
We aim to raise funds through grants and donations to fund this aspect of our program. The “bank of trees” will be available for community members to access when they need health care assistance.
For example, someone needing to cover costs of up to 20 Cedis may plant and maintain 10 trees. We are justifying the figures and details as we write. Obviously if the person is gravely ill they will not be able to plant themselves but will need the support of their family and community, which is why community participation is necessary to make this successful—and also the reason why it will be successful.
The individual receives the amount needed as well as the number of trees allocated for that amount. We sign a simple contract and monitor both the patient and the trees’ progress.
We will pilot this with five families to test whether it will work in practice. However, even with no financial incentives, to date all trees that we have planted with the youth groups have been well looked after by the community, even without our asking, so we believe there is a high likelihood of success with this program particularly when everyone can see that they may benefit from the assurance of being able to access funds for their own health when needed in future.
We envisage possibly implementing a similar program for other needs such as school fees in future: “Trees for School Fees”