If you are buying a gift for a friend who already has it all, or just cannot think what to give them, virtual charity gifts are a great idea. It would be a great, easy way to give a gift to Rainforest Saver, and we send your friend an attractive card saying what the gift is and who it is from, with some explanation of our work.
We are offering mobile phones for the Cameroon farmers as charity gifts this year.
In the last newsletter we talked about the usefulness of mobile phones to our project in Cameroon.
Take a look at the chart below of four harvests of plots with comparison plots (with no Inga). These were not a great success, though even there the Inga plots performed better than the comparison plots. The problem was that the Inga grew too fast and shaded the maize. All these plots were at a distance from Yaundé, where Gaston Bityo, our Cameroon partner, was. Had these farmers had mobile phones they could have asked what to do when they saw the Inga shading their maize. It should be pruned again, but the system is very new to all these farmers and they didn’t know. This is of course only a temporary setback. All these pots have heen pruned and sown again, and all will be well. For the future Gaston has decided to shorten the interval between pruning and sowing. We have now been able to give out a few mobile phones, and more are needed. Without land lines, or computers to connect to the internet (you can forget the post) making appointments, or giving advice, becomes difficult. The wonder is how often Gaston Bityo does manage to do it successfully, but he has also arrived at a farm to find no one home. To that add the terrible roads, and mobile phones become really useful, as there is often cell phone coverage.
So you can give Cameroon farmers a mobile phone as a charity gift. They are a package with a solar charger, costing a total of £60, but you can give a donation towards a phone paying for only a part of one. See below for details.
Mindja David with his new phone, and Gaston Bityo showing how to use it.
The farmers have also been asking for fruit trees to plant beside their Inga plot. These can also be given as charity gifts. They come at £5 each, and you can donate any number.
Gaston reckons that if we can give the farmers some fruit trees these will make the Inga project more attractive to them, as well as improving their nutrition. They might be even more useful for the schools. At at least one school the Inga pods were destroyed by starving children (they get nothing to eat all day) when they discovered that you can eat the fluff inside the Inga pods. That would mean that in the future the school will not have enough Inga seeds to produce more Inga seedlings to give the farmers (the students’ parents) or to increase the school’s own plantation. But if we provide the farmers and the schools with fruit trees, the pressure on the Inga pods will be less.
Orange blossom and fruit. In Honduras they said that the fruit stays green, and only turns orange in colder climates.
We can also train the farmers and teachers and students in the techniques (grafting, cuttings or layering) to propagate the fruit trees themselves. That way they can grow more at a low cost in the future, but for now we would have to buy the young trees to get them started.
To order a Rainforest Saver charity gift please reply to this newsletter (click reply) and state
1. what you want to order
2. who it is for – their name and address, or request that we post you the cards to send them
3. pay on the website by clicking the Donate button at the top of any page, or by posting at cheque to The Rainforest Saver Foundation, 33 Pentland View, Edinburgh, EH10 6PY
The available gifts you can donate are
A mobile phone package with solar charger £60.
Half a mobile phone package with solar charger £30 (we will ensure the other half gets provided by someone else)
One fruit tree £5
Two fruit trees £10
Three trees £15 and so on, adding in £5 for each tree.
Thank you for your support.
It is always very much appreciated.