12th December 2017
Looking for the perfect Christmas gift?
Stunning 2018 Testigo Africa calendars are now available! They're only $20 each (or $15 for seniors and students), plus $5 for postage, packaging and handling in Australia.
100% of proceeds goes to our projects supporting Masai women in Tanzania.
For orders please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Update from Testigo Africa!
There are a lot of great development projects out there, especially in Africa. Indigenous people, however, often face extra barriers to participation in these projects, therefore missing out on their benefits. For example, they may not have the foundational skills necessary to participate in projects targeted at the broader community.
This is where Testigo comes in. We tailor our projects to meet the specific needs of a given village or school community. We believe that local problems need locally conceived solutions. We don’t just apply a recipe we came up with ourselves – we believe development should happen from the ground up. We place a premium on what the community tells us is important. We invest a lot in finding out about the critical challenges they face, and then come up with a solution in partnership with the community.
Our permaculture project was sought out by the Masai to address the interrelated challenges of food insecurity, poverty and gender inequality. We train Tanzanian school children and Masai women and men who have never grown food, and provide them with small start-up resources to collect rainwater, plant medicinal and fruit trees, breed chickens and grow vegetables for domestic use and selling in local markets. We provide tools, chickens, seeds and training, and assist with the construction of household dams. These students, women and men then on-train others to perpetuate the movement of peer-to-peer sustainable food production training.
Our permaculture projects involve:
- rainwater harvesting
- demonstration plots as the centrepiece of the training
- training over the full food production cycle
- harvesting, eating and selling the produce as it becomes ready
- a train-the-trainer approach
- monitoring and evaluation
Testigo’s achievements to date
In our short history, we've made the following remarkable achievements a reality:
- 12,500 Masai have access to clean drinking water
- 36 Tanzanian Masai subvillages have been trained in permaculture techniques
- 720 Masai women and men have learnt how to grow their own food for the first time and are eating and selling their homegrown produce, while thousands more have been on-trained by Testigo’s permaculture trainees
- 584 school students from four primary and secondary schools have been trained and are now growing, harvesting and eating produce from their Testigo school gardens
- 6 villages have household dams for rainwater collection
- 100 Masai women and men are now engaged in rural chicken breeding
- 100 Masai women and men have learned Swahili and English through our adult school
- 10 Masai women are making and selling beaded jewellery for export to the US
Our plans for 2018!
We can't wait to hit the ground running in 2018! Next year, we plan to:
- Train more primary and secondary students in Tanzanian schools
- Train adult Masai (or other pastoralist communities) in community gardens within schools, so the school students benefit from the gardens
- Shift from a volunteer-led organization to a Tanzanian salaried staff and focus on capacity building and succession planning
- Establish an ‘Innovation Board’ to assist Testigo going forward
Over the past two years Testigo has been asked to train primary and secondary schools students in permaculture. We’ve found that training a student not only brings massive positive impacts for the school, who can now provide greens for student lunches and improve the health, wellbeing and education of their students, but the impacts extend to the students families, as they bring their permaculture training home and show their parents how it’s done. Not only that, but we’ve also trained Masai adults within school compounds, and the students benefit from having vegetable gardens produce for their own consumption - a win-win!
Testigo has been involved with five schools in Tanzania over the past two years. Our achievements include:
- Terrat Secondary School: 307 students trained over one term
- Nashipay Primary School: 105 students and 8 teachers
- International School of Moshi (ISM): 31 secondary students together with the school's gardeners
- St Constantine's International School: 140 students from grades 3, 4 and 5 made a day trip to Testigo's Nashipay school project as part of their community experience week, working hard to construct a new sack garden, keyhole garden and double dug beds and planting seeds.
- Namelok English Medium Primary School: Trained an adult group of Masai women and men. The school's guard then took over the maintenance of the vegetable gardens so the students would benefit from greens for lunch.
Training at schools not only trains students in permaculture techniques, but provides them with food for their lunches and a means to raise money for other school needs. ISM sell their Testigo garden produce at their monthly farmers market school days and Terrat Secondary School sell greens to their local community. Nashipay and Terrat schools did not provide greens for lunch until they started producing their own through Testigo's project. Furthermore, the training becomes intergenerational as students go home and begin training their parents.
Thanks very much for reading! Our work is only possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Please help us to continue our life-changing work by making a donation today. Thank you!