Since the start of our CO2 challenges in 2015, we have combined the participation of our customers with tree planting. Our goal was to combine changes in behavior that only become noticeable in the long term with a concrete impact in the real world. With something that I can touch and that I’m proud of.
For us, the credibility and sustainability of the plantings were always the most important criteria for choosing a partner. Therefore we are very happy to introduce you today to the NGO “Wells for Zoë” as a new Changers tree-planting partner, who has moved us in what they do and how they do it.
Your trees for a better life in Malawi
Wells for Zoë is an NGO from Ireland that has set itself the task of providing the poorest rural population in northern Malawi with access to clean drinking water. The simple and robust plastic hand pump is produced in Mzuzu, the capital of Malawi, which the villagers themselves can maintain. The pump developer’s daughter died in a tragic motorcycle accident at the age of 18. Her name Zoë and its Greek meaning “life” became the name and purpose of the NGO.
With the installation of the water pumps the life of the villagers changed dramatically. The well holes, which are often much too shallow and open, are provided with a solid cover in which the pump can pump clean water from greater depths. This prevents diseases, people are less weakened and can take better care of their agriculture and education.
The pumps were the beginning, the tree planting is the next logical step.
Wells for Zoe works with the local people to plant native trees, which on the one hand improve the climate, stop soil erosion and on the other hand, through their fruits, help to feed themselves better. Malnutrition is unfortunately not uncommon, as Malawi has had one leg in the hunger catastrophe for many years. The few trees that still existed at the turn of the millennium have either fallen victim to the kilns or irresponsible companies.
The population’s knowledge of how to collect, process, store and replant the seeds of native trees is unfortunately no longer available. Wells for Zoe had to laboriously re-establish it in the villages over the years. Therefore, planting clubs with tree schools were set up all over northern Malawi, in which the villagers can relearn these skills. Wells for Zoe employees visit them regularly, monitor and document progress, and reward club members with materials that make planting easier.
In addition, in 2020 the clubs and their plantings began to be recorded with geodata and documented by drone flights in order to give the tree donors the greatest possible transparency. The wells built by the NGO are all provided with geodata and can be viewed on the Internet.
Wells for Zoe is a volunteer organization. Apart from the Malawian employees, nobody receives a salary. All trips and flights are taken over privately, so that 100% of the donations can benefit the population.
The NGO works completely self-sufficient, is not dependent on government organizations or companies and does not have to make any compromises in its work on site with the people. Changers had a long conversation with John Coyne, who founded the NGO with his wife Mary in 2005 based on personal experience in Malawi. We are very impressed by the achievements and successes that the two of them have already achieved in the past few years and we are very happy to work with them and the many volunteers to make life a little better for the people in Malawi. More about Wells for Zoe and the trees you planted in Malawi can be found here: https://wellsforzoe.org/