Why were they visiting us? Basically, talking with us about revamping their newsletter a bit. It’s satisfying to give some hints on making a communication product better so they can draw people in more, but the goal was what really set me on fire.
Actually, it was their passion for it. These two lovely people were such a great mix of pragmatic and optimistic; keen on sticking to what local people needed and wanted, yet open to new ideas; ‘up’ on new, innovative practices, yet able to explain them simply…
One of the most exciting of those ideas is amazing reforestation of east Africa – especially Niger. And the way it’s being done is completely by the people, for the people.
It’s basically about integrating trees into cropped paddocks to protect the crops, improve their yield (especially when legume trees are used), give fodder to animals and firewood to people – the benefits go on and on. And a president of an African country (excuse me forgetting) has declared that 100,000,000 of the trees will be planted!
It’s incredible, and the photos honestly tell it better. The World Agroforestry Centre has published a free PDF booklet about its importance, how it’s been done, and the huge difference it’s been making to people.
And that’s what lights my fire, too – making a difference. Knowing if I can help these two Landcare International people then somehow I can help a whole world of people, even if indirectly.