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Expanding our reach with our third gardener

Reforestation has been a core activity for Zahana for over 10 years, thanks to our two gardeners. Empowered by Zahana’s salary they have been able to dedicate a good chunk of their time growing seedlings. Seedling are always given away for free to encourage and facilitate reforestation.  When other villages saw these efforts, they wanted in on the action and started requesting seedlings as well. In late 2019 we launched the project that combined reforestation with improved cookstoves. One of the fortunate results is: Mamy, our newest gardener.

Our new gardener in Madagascar

Reforestation, or the active tree planting in conjunction with improved cookstove workshops, lead us to his village. Subsequently the community approached us with a request for a formal long-term cooperation with Zahana. Their biggest priority was starting their own tree nursery and all they needed was a suitable trained gardener. Fortunately for us the village already has a well-functioning public school with a beloved teacher and their own water system, so we did not need to start from zero there.

Mamy lives just two villages over - a good hour’s walk for Bary our master gardener. To kickstart the budding nursery, Bary walked there several times a week for a few months to share his expertise and hands on training on site.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures that turned any plans upside down.

Despite all of that, Mamy successfully established his tree nursery and included other community members in the hands-on work. He has also experimented with introducing new crops with seeds provided by Zahana. His formal probation period was basically over before it even started.

In the next community meeting we will formalize our relationship and officially welcome him and his community nursery as our third gardener in 2021. As with the other two gardeners, paying his salary is an integral part of our micro credit strategy, illustrating that in integrative development all of our projects are interrelated.

His community is very dynamic and innovative, and we are looking forward to a much closer cooperation in the future. As you can see from the photos, he has developed a picture-worthy nursery.

New Garden with our third gardener

New Garden with our third gardener

New Garden with our third gardener

New Garden with our third gardener