Mar 2, 2020

Annual report 2019

Report of the Managing Board

A year of rapid build-up

Recent developments

Project vocational training centre for sustainability in Busua

2019 was all about sustainable building. Since our project wants to give people a platform to develop their full potential, it was fitting that we thought of our first building as a simple wooden platform. Meanwhile, the initial idea has developed into a three-storey building with a kitchen, storeroom, platform and mass sleeping area. We also built temporary bathrooms and toilets and started building our first permanent composting toilet. By using natural materials such as bamboo for the roofs or raffia palm for the walls, we create an airy, natural ambiance. In terms of energy, we are now also independent; with the commissioning of our first solar plant, we now produce enough electricity for small appliances such as mobile phones, laptops and the usual kitchen appliances. A solid basis, therefore, for the further expansion of our centre.

Of course, this progress would not have been possible to this extent, and especially at this rate, had we not had excellent employees; we now employ seven locals, which allows them to provide for their respective families. Together we reached two milestones in spring: the construction of the access road in April allowed us to drill a 40-metre deep well in May, which we now use to pump groundwater all year round. A gasoline generator currently still powers the pump, but we will soon replace it with one of our three new solar plants that were donated to us.

Being independent in terms of water helped us to irrigate the organic vegetable garden, a problem we were faced with during the dry season 2018/19 (December - March). Besides many healthy vegetables, we were able to harvest cereals like maize, legumes like peanuts, root crops like yams and cassava, and of course our main crop, the fruits of the sustainably cultivated oil palm. The 1.6 hectares of land on which we work have thus become a diverse ecosystem; while in 2018, for example, the oil palms were still standing in a monoculture, they are now part of a diverse agroforestry system that gives people and animals recreation and health. We used all food directly to feed the team and donated any surplus to the surrounding families. In addition, we were able to give loyal members of our Benefactors' Club (see the section on Recognition, thanks and awards) a package of self-made products such as honey, peanuts, dried mushrooms and sustainable palm oil from the project as a Christmas present.

We have also started the cultivation of oyster mushrooms and beekeeping, which has already allowed considerable harvests of vegetarian protein and honey. In herbal medicine, our first experiences allow us to prepare a tasty and soothing tea from different herbs, which grow on specially designed terraces. In this way, we keep residents, workers and guests healthy in various ways, for example by preventing malaria, stimulating appetite or aiding digestion.

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