Living Trees of Livingstonia is an initiative in the Rumphi District of Malawi. Funded by the Scottish Government, overseen and supported by Thrive with Edinburgh-based Leith Community Crops in Pots, the project is implemented on the ground by Rumphi organisation Living Trees of Livingstonia and by communities surrounding 21 schools. The project, which began in November 2017 runs for 3 years. It brings together a community in Edinburgh with these communities in Rumphi, which manage and work on their school orchards. These orchards are like small farms, as they will not only grow trees and tree seedlings, but are also already growing chillies and paprika, which Living Trees of Livingstonia sells for the schools, so that the schools can use this income to improve their children’s education. After our baseline survey found that only 21% of children ate breakfast, and therefore 79% of children were eating only after school, the parents prepared the ground so that they could grow breakfasts, and the project provided the seeds. Now all 21 schools are growing breakfasts for their children.
The orchards are run by School Orchard Committees, each consisting of 5 women and 5 men, mainly parents, and also the school’s teachers. In the process, we are also helping Malawian organisation Living Trees of Livingstonia to establish itself.
Living Trees of Livingstonia has a wide range of benefits: environmental, employment, nutritional, educational, and capacity-building. It shows Malawi meeting its own needs, through the hard work of these school communities.