Linda Kabaira is a dedicated community worker, who runs projects with SCOPE in Zimbabwe and Zambia with young women and schools, focusing on creating home gardens as a tool for ecological regeneration. Linda received funds through the River of Life in 2016 and 2020.
Working with young women, Linda focuses mostly on growing staple food crops and using permaculture techniques to build soil fertility, manage water and maximize harvests. During 2016 when she received River of Life funds, she worked with 431 women, who are now able to meet their household food and dietary requirements, with an abundance of diverse, nutrient-rich, chemical-free fruits and vegetables. Their gardens produce a surplus, which they sell to gain income.
In 2020, Linda continued working with girls aged 15-24 and women aged 25-35, to deepen their knowledge of micronutrient rich foods so their consumption of these foods could be increased. She was able to provide trainings to not only women and girls, but is in the process of developing trainings for the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare on child and maternal nutrition.
Linda facilitated an Introduction of the Ecovillage principles workshop with a group of young women, which helped them with grounding in sustainability concepts. Linda shares that it brought a sense of ownership, cohesion and oneness to the participants. The emphasis on the principles brought solidarity, tolerance, diversity, respect, and collaboration among them. This is expected to go a long way in supporting the self-sufficiency of the female youths and their households.
“I am grateful for the support received, it helped quite a lot in supporting me, as I would sometimes go for months without a salary. When I received the River of Life funds, it was one of those periods, and the funds helped me move to a place where I could build a small home, that has greatly supported me from incurring monthly rentals which were difficult in the tough months.” – Linda
Through her dedicated work, Linda also provided continuous support and training to 107 schools to develop sustainable land-use practices, including growing their own food using permaculture and regenerative design principles and establishing food forests and fruit tree orchards. The schools continue to do amazing work on the ground; one of the schools, Sihlengeni Primary school, received a UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development. Four schools won the Secretary’s Merit Award, and four other schools won accolades from the provincial environmental management offices.
Linda realises the importance to scale the solutions she knows works, so has facilitated a partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate in Zimbabwe to implement ecovillage strategies country-wide. By integrating ecovillage strategies and practices in relevant policies, she aims to spread sustainable food systems that help mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Linda’s story illustrates how the River of Life funds can satisfy important needs on many levels, supporting Linda to have her own living space so she can be empowered to work with women, youth and schools. Linda has reached hundreds of people through her passion and skill of creating living and learning environments which are healthy, resilient and economically sustainable – qualities that are aligned with GEN’s vision and ecovillage principles.
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