The idea of Christmas trees was a good starting point for our most recent project in Guinea Bissau. Most Bissau-Guineans are Muslim, so don’t celebrate Christmas, but one thing they do need is trees. While a lot of the country is still covered with trees, so many of the trees in and around Bissau, the capital, have been cut down to make room for housing and agriculture. Our tree project, to give selected families a small fruit tree, will provide shade and fruit for the families, make a small contribution towards cleaning the air and improving the soil, and raise the value of the homes.
Ali, one of our Joint Operations Managers, belongs to an organisation called COTEDAE, made up of colleagues who have recently graduated in Environmental Management. They voluntarily took on this project, and decided on the best area in Bissau (between 2 main roads). They then asked and made lists of which family wanted which tree, bought the trees, bought second-hand tyres to put around the trees to stop goats eating them, delivered and planted the trees, and instructed the families how to look after them.
Here are some of the photos:
Stage 1: planning and finding good homes for the trees
Stage 2: buying the trees and tyres
Stage 3: planting the trees and getting families to sign for them