The ambition to start Miténgo came out of a volunteer visit to Malawi in 2011. I had travelled to Malawi in order to research wood fuel usage, plant trees and teach geography. Whilst travelling through several districts of Malawi and speaking to community groups it was evident that there were large levels of deforestation occurring.
Many areas of previously forested areas have been cut down for building materials, for farmland, slash and burn agriculture, and used as a fuel source. Malawi is a densely populated country, many people live with an umbilical connection to the environment and resources available to them for many of their needs. It is vitally important that we assist community groups who are taking a positive stance towards forest conservation and reforestation efforts. One such group that Miténgo will be directly raising funds for are located in the Nkhata Bay district of northern Malawi.
Whilst visiting Nkhata Bay district, I witnessed the amazing forest conservation work of the charity Ripple Africa. To date, Ripple Africa have developed local bylaws that the community has fostered and resulted in the protection of over 130 sg.km of Kandoli Forest. Furthermore, they have helped communities plant over 10 million trees!
Through sales of our coffee, we aim to support Ripple Africa in planting an even greater number of trees and conserve more existing Forest Area.
Eight years after visiting Malawi I am now using my expertise in Sustainable Development and Alternative Food Networks, (specifically coffee!) to make a net-positive contribution to tackling deforestation and conservation.
My small back garden only has so much capacity to grow trees on, that’s why partnering with tree planters is perfect for the big plans I have at Miténgo (also, my girlfriend can have the kitchen windowsill back after moving all the trees out of the house!).
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