Umuntu Project – Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Umuntu Permaculture Projects

The collaboration with the Umuntu tree planting projects aims to bring together sustainable permaculture with local and foreign communities, to work together to repair our planet.
We hope to encourage people to live a better life in harmony with nature by participating in our projects for growing and raising vegetables, fruits and as many trees as possible, to support environmental protection.

Bigboy (Biggie) Musemwa grew up with the ambition and vision of developing an eco village that incorporates water management, soil preservation and enrichment, cultivating seedlings, planting trees, and creating a food forest that could provide a year-round supply of fruits, nuts, beans, vegetables, etc. As well as homes for people living there! It would also have visitor accommodation and a retreat centre – allowing residents and visitors to learn both permaculture and meditation. Throughout my life my heart has always been touched by the struggles of orphans and those with disabilities. For this reason my eco village vision also included establishing a small orphanage. The orphanage will provide a safe and loving environment that will encourage the children to play a big role in the eco village, learn important skills, such as gardening practices; ethical building and how to pull together as a team that gives back to themselves and the wider community and have enormous fun. In 2019 my dream took a big step closer to being realized when I was offered 7 hectares of land for community projects by the Gatsi Village Herdman (Mr Emmanuel Gatsi). I was fortunate to receive international support from many friends who supported my vision. A special thanks to Roma Banks, Fabio Huther, Adam Waterhouse, Phil Lee and many others friends around the world who played crucial roles by first helping us to fundraise for the costs of fencing in the land, which was essential in order to secure our initial claim on the land that we now call the Umuntu Centre, Zimbabwe! Through further fundraisers we have been able to build a well, toilets and a shade for meetings. We built a home for the Caretaker (a 2 roomed cottage and a thatched kitchen), pegged and fence in a further 50m x 100m for Food Forest Gardens and a 5m x 20m tree nursery for growing 50,000 trees for community reforestation programs. We moulded 50,000 bricks for the building of the Permaculture and Preschool Academy, established the UMUNTU Soccer Academy for our Permaculture volunteers, etc. Moreover, we’ve obtained 5 goats, which we keep as our pets (and as “weed maintanence officers”). And soon, the organization of the apiculture workshop is still being organized with the Bee Doctor Movement.

On behalf of the UMUNTU CENTRE ZIMBABWE I wish to express my sincere gratitude to all those who have donated their support, energy, money and time. This also includes all those who advised us to implement socio-ecological charity projects to benefit all the involved participants, the community here in Gatsi village and our project centre. Our next project on this new site involve a combination of the following crop production and fruit tree planting activities: 1. Maize production on 10 acres (using organic fertilizer) inter-cropped with sugar beans, sunflowers, cucumbers, pumpkins etc. 2. Groundnuts production on 5 acres. 3. Sweet potato production on 2 acres (using organic fertilizers). 4. Planting 50 avocado and 50 mango grafted trees. These projects will enable us to generate more operational capital for project expansion, borehole drilling and developing our project site into an ECO-Village Centre (Permaculture and Retreat Centre). We need to drill a borehole as our current well is unable to meet the Umuntu Centre’s water demands. We also aim to conserve the endangered tree species at the Umuntu Centre as well establish an orchard where grafted and non-grafted fruit trees will be planted – including indigenous fruit trees. We aim to help people help themselves. Members of the community involved as participants/volunteers will all gain skills for conservation of the environment and growing smart food – using permaculture principles – that enables them to meet household food security needs. They are then able to pass on these practices and knowledge to others in the wider community. That is Umuntu and Permaculture in action. I am Bigboy Musemwa, 46 years old and a member of the British Permaculture Association. I run the Umuntu Projects, where we grow trees for distribution to communities to raise awareness of the value of trees and reduce environmental desertification. I also run a Permaculture Food Forest Gardens in Chihota Seke and at Pomona Community Farm in Harare. I have a PDC from the Fambidzanai Permaculture Institute. If you would like to team up with our projects please visit our FB group

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