Climate and environment – forests and renewable energy

Thrive’s Climate and environment programme has started with a community forestry project.

Thrive’s Living Trees of Livingstonia (Thrive LTOL) is an initiative in Rumphi District, Malawi. Funded by the Scottish Government and implemented by Thrive, Living Trees of Livingstonia and communities of 21 schools, it has also included soil analysis by the Universities of Edinburgh and Mzuzu, funded by Global Challenges Research Fund.

Thrive LTOL advances the Malawian Government’s Home-Grown Schools policy, since the 21 schools are growing and cooking breakfast foods for their children. Our baseline survey found that only 21% of children ate breakfast, and so 79% of children were eating only after school. Now each school provides breakfast to children 2 or 3 days per week. Each school has built a tree nursery, and is growing 3,000 saplings. They are donating many of these to households, to create a forest of 27,300 new trees spread over many gardens. They are keeping some fruit trees for food for the children, and those who wish will sell the rest, along with other cash crops which they are growing, including paprika, coffee and soya beans. Living Trees of Livingstonia links these schools to buyers, giving them income to improve children’s education.

These small farms are run by Parent Teacher Associations, who are meeting their schools’ most urgent needs independently and sustainably.

Thrive LTOL has a wide range of benefits: environmental, employment, nutritional and educational.