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Apr 17, 2020

Fighting for the Future

HeroTREE farmers arrive for a 2019 project update
HeroTREE farmers arrive for a 2019 project update

Welcome to your latest HeroTREEs update!

Quarter 1 of 2020 started with a celebration of all of the successes from 2019 and in early January we were delighted to welcome all of our farmers together to provide them with a project update and payment for their hard work.

All of our farmers were delighted to catch up with colleagues from other nurseries and share their experiences with each other; our Kisosa group farmers reported successes with growing on several indiginous tree species such as Bridelia micrantha, Syzigium guineeense and Ficus sycomorus whilst the Choma Street nursery had some 1700 healthy seedlings to manage.

Thanks to your donations, local farmers are able to plant a wide variety of trees which will  safeguard the forest, and the local communities who rely upon it, by reducing greenhouse gases.

In addition to a 2019 update we're delighted to say that Q1 2020 started well with 90 new farmers trained and welcomed into our HeroTREEs family. Farmers in Ruvuma, Mgambazi, Tulo, Choma and Kisosa joined existing farmers and project managers to learn all about nursery management including how to pick out seedlings and nurture healthy specimens. 

APOPO & COVID-19

For Q2 of 2020 we can't ignore the elephant in the room - COVID-19.

As organisations that serve some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, APOPO has a duty to continue humanitarian missions with a priority for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and the families that depend on us. Here at APOPO we, and our partner Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania, are adjusting how we work in line with the latest national government and World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance to keep working as much as possible while ensuring we keep everyone safe. 

We wish you and your families, dear supporter, the best of health during this uncertain time. 

HeroTREES project manager provides 2019 update
HeroTREES project manager provides 2019 update
A HeroTREE Farmer signs receipt of payment
A HeroTREE Farmer signs receipt of payment
Choma St. nursery looked after some 1700 seedlings
Choma St. nursery looked after some 1700 seedlings
Mar 25, 2020

9 New Tuberculosis Rats for 2020

Welcome to our first project update of 2020 where we’ll be focussing on our tuberculosis (TB) operations given our latest, exciting news: 9 new TB detection rats are ready for deployment.

The first three months of the year have seen our Training and Innovation team working flat out to get 9 new TB detection rats ready for operations abroad. Thanks to your support we've been able to train these additional HeroRATs to bolster our tuberculosis detection offering, but do you know how it's done?

It takes roughly 9 months to train a HeroRAT in TB detection. When young, our rats are regularly handled and socialised in order to ensure they become at ease in their surroundings and with people. They are regularly handled by trained staff and introduced to everyday sounds and smells.

As training progresses, the rats are trained to associate the sound of a click with a reward; when they near a sputum sample they hear a click and receive some banana - one of their favourite treats! Once able to identify a sputum sample they move on to learn how to distinguish between TB positive and TB negative samples; they will only hear a click and receive a reward if they interact with the TB positive sample.

As a final stage of training, our rats are exposed to 10 samples at a time beneath sniffing holes in one of our line cages. As they move along the cage our rats are trained to hold their noses over TB positive samples for 2-3 seconds.

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The World Health Organisation's latest statistics confirm that in 2018 a total of 1.5 million people died from TB and an estimated 10 million people fell ill with the disease. Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent. 

With TB being both curable, and preventable, it's vital that we continue our valuable work in not only TB detection, but also training and innovation - your support is vital to our cause. In spite of our successes, much work remains to realise a world free of mines and TB. We are forging ahead through the course of 2020 with a renewed focus on the continuation of our efforts to bring good health, security, peace and the chance of development to the communities within which we work. With your continued support, we will be able to do so.

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On that note, GlobalGiving's Little by Little campaign is fast approaching and you'll be able to make your donations go further. 

Between 09:00:00 ET on March, 23, 2020 through 23:59:00 ET on March, 27, 2020 all eligible donations up to $50 will be matched at 50% at no extra cost to you. 

Keep your eyes peeled for our further project appeal email on March, 23, 2020.


Thank you for your incredible support for our work. 

APOPO colleague Marygiven preparing sputum samples
APOPO colleague Marygiven preparing sputum samples
Jan 16, 2020

Agroforestry and External Inspection

A farm boundary established by farmer Abdallah
A farm boundary established by farmer Abdallah

October to December 2019 was another busy quarter for our farmers. No new tree seedlings were planted but many of our farmers attended training on nursey management and GPS survey methods in order to accurately measure their plots to ensure efficient use of the land for plantations. A total of 90 farmers attended training in Q4 including 20 farmers from Ruvuma, 20 from Mgambazi, 20 from Tulo, 20 from Choma, and 10 from Kisosa.

When they weren't attending training Chemkeni Kisosa group continued the management of their tree nursery with indigenous tree species such as:

  • Bridelia micrantha
  • Syzigium guineeense
  • Ficus sycomorus

Twimanye Choma street group continued with the management of remaining seedlings in their nursery.

The new year has arrived and brought fresh motivation to continue this valuable work throughout 2020 and the focus of Q1 will be as follows:

  • The continuing development of a carbon curriculum
  • Payment for Carbon offset to eligible Farmers (our Tree Planting 'Heroes') following external inspection

As a busy quarter awaits us, we wish to thank you for your continued support. With each seedling planted you are developing local farmers, inspiring young people and helping the environment, one leaf at a time.

Agroforestry: Abdallah from Mgambazi growing maize
Agroforestry: Abdallah from Mgambazi growing maize
Zena in her agroforestry farm during inspection
Zena in her agroforestry farm during inspection
 
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