Thrive’s work on climate and the environment started in 2017 with a community forestry project funded by the Scottish Government and implemented by Thrive, Living Trees of Livingstonia and Parent Teacher Associations of 21 schools in Rumphi District, Malawi. It included soil analysis by the Universities of Edinburgh and Mzuzu, funded by Global Challenges Research Fund. It ended in October 2020.
This project advanced the Malawian Government’s Home-Grown Schools policy, as 20 primary schools grew and cooked breakfasts for their children. Our baseline survey found that only 21% of children ate breakfast, and so 79% of children were eating only after school. 3 years later, at project end in October 2020, each school was providing breakfast to all their children 2 or 3 days per week, a total of 5,280 children. Each school built a tree nursery, and together grew on 8,000 saplings and donated an additional 6,000 to households, to start a forest of new trees over many gardens. The schools will keep some fruit trees for food for the children, and 9 schools began to grow coffee and paprika for sale, using the income to improve their schools and learning. In this way, the Parent Teacher Associations met their schools’ most urgent needs – environmental, nutritional and educational.