Social Forestry in Uganda: Setting a Precedent

 
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Jan 15, 2013

Volunteers for Organic Perspectives!

Kabugudo Community Nursery, Kidera (Buyende)
Kabugudo Community Nursery, Kidera (Buyende)

Dear Supporter of Organic Perspectives,

As we prepare to expand our project with new community nurseries to plant more trees this year, we think we can do more than our own small team and resources alone can allow, if we engage Volunteers.

In the first place, we need volunteers because our team is small and we can’t afford hiring local staff.

We are therefore developing a Volunteers Program (http://www.ecotours-uganda.org/?page_id=5473) through our subsidiary ‘EcoTours & Travel Uganda’, which I need to introduce a little:

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Looking back, Organic Perspectives has unwaveringly promoted activities in community forestry, organic gardening and alternative household energy (renewable and energy efficient biomass stove technologies) for rural smallholder farmers in Uganda’s rural areas, since 2007.

Over that time, we have seen that whereas environmental degradation (especially the relentless deforestation in the countryside) is at its height, there is little involvement of the foremost stakeholders touched by the quality of environmental sustainability: the tourism and travel industry.

Recently—therefore, we started EcoTours & Travel Uganda—as a subsidiary of Organic Perspectives.

Its primary aim is to promote ecotourism and socially responsible travel by protecting natural places, supporting local people and offsetting travel-related CO2 emissions.

But, generally, our underlying aim is that this will increase the visibility and potential support for the work of Organic Perspectives by putting it directly before travelers in Africa’s leading tourist destination (Uganda) who wouldn’t otherwise have minded about charitable work, or such a small nonprofit.

And this is working! Well, the start-up isn’t yet offering many great ecotours and safari packages as planned, but we are already seeing good prospects that this will bring the work of Organic Perspectives to the centre. Many people are visiting the new website http://www.ecotours-uganda.org and are contacting us about it—which has not been the case for our conservation projects.

And this has already been featured by “Fly For Good”, an organization focused on “promoting service travel to experience cultures and do humanitarian work overseas”. See: http://blog.flyforgood.com/?p=173

Then, a Canadian traveler in Uganda has even proposed running a crowd-source fundraiser to support our new Volunteers Program—so we can host volunteers without charging them to volunteer.

________________

Back to the point: we are developing this volunteer program as a way of enabling us to expand our community projects from the context of promoting ecotourism and socially responsible travel.

I needed to let you know how you can support our Volunteers Program:

1) If you can connect us with prospective volunteers that could work with us as described on the above link, it will be very helpful. Volunteers can be of any age above 18, and can stay with us for any length. You could even personally choose to come and work with us or ask a friend to join us!

2) We are also requesting you to share this with any groups or organizations we could partner with, in sending us volunteers. The program is ongoing, as we will be aiming at expanding our project across Kamuli and Buyende districts, and similar parts of Uganda.

3) If you could be able to run a fundraiser on behalf of us, it’d be most needed in the following two areas:

a) Raising support for our volunteers program—as in the above mentioned case.

b) Helping the local community of Kabugudo in Buyende (Uganda) acquire a water source (e.g. borehole). The village hosts our biggest community tree nursery but the nearest borehole (shared by over 350 households) is about 3km away. We are handling this particular issue in coordination with Trees for the Future’s Uganda Program Coordinator ‘Mathius Lukwago’ [mathius[at]treesftf.org] and we have been there this week.

Finally, before we build more networks for our work, we are always counting on your help to sustain our operational needs. You can help us by setting up a small recurring donation, maybe a second donation, and asking your friends to help!

Thank you for your support!

Anthony Kalulu | http://www.organic-persp.org  | http://www.ecotours-uganda.org

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Organization

Project Leader

Anthony Kalulu

Kamuli, Uganda

Where is this project located?

Map of Social Forestry in Uganda: Setting a Precedent