This was the beginning of a journey of mutual learning and sharing between GBM representatives, Lambi Fund staff and members of grassroots organizations engaged in reforestation and agro-forestry projects in
On their second day in
The delegation left the next day for a visit to Gwo Mon located in the
The visit to the Oganizasyon Peyzan Bige was GBM's first encounter with a peasant organization. Members of the delegation were greeted with the haunting and vibrating sounds of the lambi (conch shell) calling the meeting to order. OPB is a grassroots organization that has partnered with the Lambi Fund to address the environmental degradation in the community of Bige with the construction of water cisterns and the commitment to plant 100,000 trees. So far, OPB has successfully planted 48,260 trees that were produced in the tree nurseries built throughout the community. The members had the opportunity to introduce themselves, discuss the nature of their projects, and listened with great attention to Josephine Wangari's presentation of the GBM's tree planting methodology. This presentation was followed by a lively exchange between OPB members and GBM delegates comparing and contrasting strategies and discussing the political and cultural contexts in which environmental work is conducted. OPB members took the delegation on a tour of reforested sites, answered questions about tree selection, maintenance and rates of tree survival.
The next day the delegation visited another grassroots organization, ODEPERIB, where members greeted them with songs of welcome and solidarity. The dialogue focused on issues of civic education and engagement. Members of ODEPERIB shared their frustrations about their inability to garner any support from locally elected officials. Lillian Muchungi stressed the importance of advocacy in
Saturday was a very special day as the delegation had the opportunity to meet with representatives from all of the organizations in the Gwo Mon area that partner with the Lambi Fund. This meeting took place at Lambi Fund's Center for Food Security and offered representatives from different peasant organizations the opportunity to hear about the Greenbelt Movement and share their experiences.
What followed the meeting was a celebration of cultures. The entertainment was provided by the incredibly talented, dynamic and politically engaged women's musical group called Awozam, all members of a women’s organization partnering with Lambi Fund in the Northwestern part of
Upon the delegation's return to the capital, they met with the Honorable Marie Laurence Lassegue, Minister of the Women's Condition. She expressed enthusiasm about the historic partnership between the Lambi Fund and the Greenbelt Movement and offered her support of this Global South collaboration and partnership.
The visit accomplished its stated objectives of mutual exchange between the Greenbelt Movement and the Lambi Fund. The next steps will entail an assessment of the trip and discussions about areas of interest where the Lambi Fund and the Greenbelt Movement will partner to improve