Women's Earth & Climate Action Network, International
The Women's Earth & Climate Action Network is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide to take action as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions. For Our Earth and Future Generations A project of Women's Earth and Climate Caucus and its partner eraGlobal Alliance
« Rights of Nature, New Economics, Relationship with Earth

Rainforest and Pygmy People of the Congo

photo of Carmen Stone



I am an activist who has been working with Neema Namadamu and the Maman Shujaa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Neema's vision is to empower women, disabled people and to employ Rights of Nature. Her many initiatives and projects are aimed at bringing peace to the Congo through a grassroots approach. To learn more about Neem and Maman Shujaa, which means 'Hero Women' in Swahili, please go to www.namadamu.com and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maman-Shujaa-Hero-Women-of-Congo/514453491908424

Reasons for working in this topic, project or business:

I am in agreement that it is the Women of the Planet who will bring the real and sustaining solutions to the table. I believe it is time for the Re-Emergence of the Feminine to replace the present destructive structures with nourishing and sustainable structures of living in balance and sustainability.

Root causes of the problems in this field and main barriers:

Patriarchy and capitalism lack long term vision and are motivated by greed. The devastation of our Earth can be witnessed in the loss of the rainforest. We are losing one of the producers of our oxygen. We are losing biodiversity of plants that provide medicinal uses. With the upset of the ecosystem of the rainforest comes its inevitable loss.

What is needed to overcome barriers to implement solutions:

With regards to the rainforest efforts such as sustainable harvesting with indigenous people as the stewards and consultants of that process is essential. The people of the forest who are still living hold the knowledge and wisdom necessary to harvest intelligently and to re-plant correctly.

Oversight and regulation of mining/logging, etc. companies must be in place and enforceable.

Specific needs and/or support requests:

Neema Namadamu and the Maman Shujaa are presently attempting to work with the Pygmy people who have been driven from the forest in the Congo. ADIPP/Sud Kivu is a member of SAFECO, an organization of women and women-led NGOs in association to encourage and support one another with a development agenda that prioritizes human rights for all members of Congolese society, as well as rights for communities and rights for nature. To learn more about SAFECO please go to: http://namadamu.com/safeco

ADIPP/Sud Kivu, is working to bring education, agricultural skills, financial independence, and health care to the displaced Pygmy people of the Katana Kabare territory. ADIPP strives to provide scholarships for women to learn to read and write. Upon completion of their studies, ADIPP give the women goats, chickens, and rabbits. When the animals reproduce, the offspring are shared with the other 6 women in their Circle. The animals provide a means of making money which is kept and shared between each Circle of women to insure the needs of the group are met.

Although a schoolhouse was built for the children of the community, it was destroyed by “anti-socials” and their school supplies were stolen. ADIPP is in need of materials in order to rebuild, purchase school supplies, shoes for the children, fees for teachers, and a system to provide security.

ADIPP has a goal of helping the community to attain food security by providing seeds to grow food and trees. Due to deforestation the area has very few trees and the consequence is erosion. Proper farming techniques can protect the crops from wind and water erosion allowing for the growth of crops and trees.

The only water source is far away. It takes hours to transport the little bit of water that can be physically carried. With engineering and materials the water could be diverted to reach the community more easily  providing clean water for the people, animals, and crops.

ADIPP recognizes the need for women who have been brutalized by sexual violence and witnessed the murder of their husbands and children to receive counseling. ADIPP is striving to meet these needs. While there is a hospital in the area, the women have no money to pay for healthcare. The Pygmy People have been forced from their homes in the forest and into homelessness.The importance of helping this community to build a sustainable environment for themselves is urgent.

Please donate to this important work at: http://namadamu.com/donate


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