farmers community building

Farmers participate in a community building exercise

Training and capacity building covers community organizational dynamics and topics of general importance:

  • Women and youth development and empowerment
  • HIV and AIDS awareness, prevention and care
  • Health and nutrition
  • Water and sanitation
  • Environment and climate change
  • Income generating activities and value addition

The Trust conducts community engagement workshops to understand the problems, the needs and aspirations of the communities it works in, to establish a starting point for its programs and to prepare for longer term partnership in the participating communities. Participatory community facilitation using the Art of Hosting is employed, a methodology which encourages everyone to speak, including those who would normally stay silent due to traditional or cultural mores. The emphasis is on appreciation of what a community has, and where it wants to go together. Possible solutions and opportunities are sought, programmes planned and implemented.

A clay stove is used to cook vegetables

A clay stove is used to cook vegetables

Workshops on ‘farming as a business’ are part of the Trust’s community engagement: clay stove making workshops, for example, teach household members how to construct stoves from clay that they can source in their own areas using only six bricks. Easy to make and cheap, but most important, these stoves use less wood, thereby helping reduce deforestation and the time women and children spend gathering firewood. Income-generating activities like dryer workshops are also organised with youth members of the participating communities, so that they can learn how to construct and sell the dryers to farmers who need them to process their crops.