This past week Charles Henderson and Grant Davidson paid Kusamala a visit as our Scottish partners on the JANEEMO project. Charlie comes to the project from Climate Futures and is responsible for communication and project development, while Grant is the International Development Coordinator at the James Hutton Institute and directs JANEEMO from the Scottish end.
There was much excitement on both ends for their visit and their week here did not disappoint! We filled their time with project meetings, visits to other NGOs and government officials, trips to the participating communities in Dowa, and dinner at the farm most nights.
While we all enjoyed sitting around talking shop in the evenings, it must be admitted that the highlight of the week was seeing the project in action. Charlie and Grant spent two days in the rural Dowa communities participating in the JANEEMO project. They saw tens of thousands of trees planted in the club nurseries, waiting for the rains to be out planted. In addition to the moringa and jatropha, each club had their own take on tree planting – generally including a mix of some fruit trees, some fuel trees, and some nitrogen fixing agroforestry species.
More inspiring and impressive than the sheer number of tree being planted under the JANEEMO project was the commitment and enthusiasm they found within the communities. Hundreds of club members showed up to welcome our Scottish guests and the clubs performed skits and songs that they had created to spread awareness and increase support of the project.
Overall, Charlie and Grant expressed their satisfaction with the progress of the project and their excitement about the enthusiasm they found within the communities. The visit ended with a renewed sense of commitment from all the project partners to each other and to the communities in Dowa. We are hopeful that this is merely the beginning!
For more information on their trip to Dowa take a look at our recent blog post.