Directors’ Visit to the Primeiras e Segundas
In February the Country Directors of both CARE and WWF Mozambique paid a visit to Angoche to see the Primeiras e Segundas Program. Along with Dan Mullins, head of the CARE-WWF Alliance Program, and Karen Luz, WWF Senior Advisor, the group sat down with staff from Angoche, Moma, and Pebane to get an update about the progress being made in the many ongoing projects happening across the three districts. Project Officers from the marine, land, and agriculture sectors gave a presentation about developments in the field and plans for this year and beyond. The Country Directors spoke to all staff members about the importance of this powerful Alliance and the unique opportunity they have to be a part of the merging of two global organizations towards a unified cause. They also took advantage of their trip to Angoche to sign into effect a memorandum officially recognizing the partnership between WWF and CARE in the Primeiras e Segundas program, making it one of only three places in the world where the Alliance is currently operating (the other two are in Nepal and Peru).With the signatures in place, some of the staff were overheard talking about the document as a symbol of the coming together of CARE and WWF in the Primeiras e Segundas not as two large institutions working side by side, but as a unified entity- the Alliance.
Rene Celaya (Country Director of CARE), Florencio Marerua (Country Director of WWF), Dan, Karen, and Program Officers from the three districts took a visit out to the field to see one of the Farmer Field Schools in action. The extensionist and demonstrator (who are responsible for teaching the new farming methods) as well as the president of the Association “Futuros Melhores” (Better Futures) met the group in the community of Namizope. The group was able to see firsthand the progress of the fields planted over the last 2 months. The president excitedly explained that the practice of mulching (covering the field with cuttings) had significantly helped their crops by inhibiting the moisture from evaporating. He bent down to pick up some soil from the plot using mulching to show that even though it has not rained in a couple of weeks, the soil is still damp. Then he went across to another section that did not use mulching to show that the soil there was dry and that the new plants were already turning yellow. The demonstrator said that mulching is a simple tip that many people in the community of Namizope, even those not participating directly in Farmer Field School, have already adopted.
The group then sat down with members of the community of Namizope, some who are participating in associations supported by the Alliance and some who are not. Dan posed the question to the group for those who are not currently in an association, why not? The response was that many were waiting to see results, but with the progress in Farmer Field Schools and the mangrove committees, many more are planning on joining now. Florencio told the group that his visit to Namizope had both “filled his stomach and his eyes” and that he was really happy to see the projects in action. A woman stood up and shared that the farming techniques she has learned through the program are producing great results. A man raised his hand to reiterate that he is using conservation agriculture techniques in his personal farm also. At the end of the trip, the group headed back to Angoche with a renewed sense of what progress is really be made in the field and also ideas for how to better integrate all aspects of the Primeiras e Segundas program in communities like Namizope.
The entire staff of the Primeiras e Segundas program in northern Mozambique was happy to host our visiting Country Directors, WWF Senior Advisor, and Program Director to show the many ongoing projects underway. The trip reiterated the strength of the Alliance and the important work that CARE and WWF are undertaking together.