Since the nursery has been recently expanded and the number of ABCP volunteers continues to increase, Sebastian has long been hoping for funding to build a permanent structure that would house gardening equipment and accommodate himself and other workers for meals or an overnight stay.
The building is nearing completion. It has a bedroom, living room, storeroom and bathroom. It will have plumbing and electricity and will be completed in the coming year.
The Cottonwood Foundation has been instrumental in funding important projects that have allowed the Moshi Mpingo Plot to become the heart of our project. Through its support we have been able to install a water tower and pumping system, thereby establish the infrastructure for a permanent watering system at the Plot. This has allowed us to expand our nursery efforts and build liaisons with various groups who help us in distributing tree seedlings.
New England Biolabs Funds Mpingo Womens Group
In 2002 New England Biolabs Foundation (NEBF) funded a grant proposal to provide money for the construction of a tree nursery, a bee keeping operation and several educational trips for the Kikavu Chini Mpingo Womens Group. Elizabeth Chuwa is the trustee for this group and she and Sebastian offer guidance and support for their activities.
Last year NEBF funded a second grant to this group to establish a poultry raising operation. With their funding the women constructed a building to house their poultry and purchased chicks. Their intent is to sell eggs as well as fryers for meat. Since there is a large influx of tourists to the area around Kikavu chini, they have a ready market for their products during tourist season.
The women are raising mpingo seedlings in their tree nursery and helping to raise awareness in their area about the species. They say that the poultry operation will provide fertilizer for their tree nursery and much needed income to enable them to plant more trees.
NEBF is a private foundation that funds grassroots organizations working for self empowerment in developing countries. It supports programs for the environment, social change, the arts, elementary education, and science. The funding it has given to the Mpingo Womens Group has been a powerful incentive to increase their own economic empowerment as well as provide the means by which they can help implement conservation measures in their local community.
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Last revised 21 Apr 2008.