In 2009 the Dutch King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima had a villa built in Mozambique. The Dutch government decided to sell this villa because the people said their King and Queen shouldn’t be allowed to have a luxury villa in a country where a lot of inhabitants are poor. Requirements like this are still not a solution for child-labour, poverty or deforestation. Ingrid a lady from South Africa and Elsard a man from the Netherlands also saw these contradictions and during visits to Mozambique they were looking for solutions.
Ingrid, a daughter of a forester, met in 2012 Elsard who has a passion for reforestation. As a dive instructor, Ingrid was familiar with the southern part of Mozambique and she grew up surrounded by nature in Barberton. Elsard has made study trips to plantations in South America and was until begin this year chairman of reNature Foundation. Research led them to Syntropic Farming that fits perfectly in Mozambique.
They started in Mozambique in 2014 by planting Moringa Oleifera trees. This was not a solution to supply enough food or to stop over fishing the lakes and cut down trees. In 2016 Syntropic Farming came on their path and they got in contact with the University ISET-One World. They see in Agroforestry a beautiful solution where regenerative agriculture is combined with reforestation. Trials and planting at the University convinced all parties involved.
The project area: Maputaland-Mozambique
This province is situated between Maputo and the South African border. It is only a small stretch of the Mozambican coast which is 2600 kilometres long! The roads were mainly dirt roads that require a 4-wheel drive car. The Chinese finished recently a road that connects the southern border with Maputo. Malaria is under control and the area is safe for tourism. An important part of the area is the ‘Maputo Elephant Park’. The Peace Park Foundation created there a corridor with the ‘Tembe Elephant Park’ in South Africa.
Ingrid and Elsard: “The most important thing we found out is that the majority of the young people give us a lot of hope. Not only the students at ISET or Namaacha but all the young people. A lot of them speak English. They are polite, modest and prepared to work in the rural areas. Some of them help teaching the children in order to give them a better future. They are the driving force that motivates us to go on with organizing support.”