Care for Natural defies the corona pandemic
The ‘Care for Natural’ Foundation has been active in Gambia (Mariama Kunda) for over 15 years and has started planting new, nutritious crops on newly bought land in Kololi. We started collaborating with this foundation because they stimulate entrepreneurship. People working on the land gain a lot of knowledge about the production of beans, honey and moringa leaves. When there is a stable production, they can start selling products in the area.
Care for Natural had three setbacks to deal with: The Covid pandemic, staff turnover and extreme precipitation. In Gambia, the emergency state was called in March 2020. The tourism industry collapsed completely, causing 52.000 Gambians to lose their jobs. Our partner also lost the support of Dutch volunteers who usually visit for a few months to advice and support.
‘We are proud of having been able to keep on all 26 of our employees despite the economic setbacks and the Covid pandemic,’ says Claudette Krook, the local coordinator. ‘We have managed to continue our production and trainings, even though we had to twist in turns behind the scenes this year’.
An irrigation system has been constructed. For a long time, eight women watered the 1500 plants and beans by hand. Converted, that comes down to 7500 litres and almost 1000 litres per woman. This is carried to the land over long distances. The irrigation system put an end to this.
Due to the rainfall, the production of the beans, the moringa leaves and the honey was lower than planned. Care for Natural decides to put the 2020 proceeds towards emergency help to people in the region.
• Dryers put into use to dry the moringa leaves and beans.
• Trainings: field training for the garden ladies, workshops in beekeeping, cooking workshops.
• Planting of peanuts, okra, 65 coconut palm trees and 650 bananatrees.
• Issuing of land for the employees to grow crops for their own use.
• Making the beehives bee-friendly to attract colonies. Building of new concrete beehives.