One cannot pay people to put out fires...
The level of poverty is such that fires will be lit so that they can get paid to put them out!
So we decided to sponsor the Happy Hammers football team and in exchange they would help us with firefighting as well as with tree planting and general conservation.
This has proved so succesful that we now sponsor 3 football teams and 3 netball teams :)
Sport is both a unifying and a motivating force within the teams but also in the communities.
Sponsorship money covers transport to and from games, medical supplies and sports equipment mainly.
It sometimes also covers personal medical costs when one of the team members gets sick.
And in exchange, the teams owe TREEZ firefighting, fire prevention work, tree planting and maintenance.
Their annual sponsorship amount is determined by how many trees survive in the areas they are responsible for plus an added bonus for any firefighting work they have had to do.
As well as the monetary sponsorship, TREEZ has been fortunate enough to meet teachers and students from George Watson's College (in Edinburgh, UK) and who have kindly donated football and netball kits for the Happy Hammers and the Berries FC, as well the Hammers Queens and the Berries Sisters.
In 2019, we have added Kasonga football and netball teams to our portfolio in the hope of raising awarenss and uniting the people against the issues of deforestation and environmental degradation.
DAPP Malawi, also donated sports shoes to the netball teams as part of their contribution to the Run4Reforestation.
And Petal from Zomba Forest Lodge, with the help of some of the Zomba Forest Lodge guests, have been collecting sports bras to distribute to the netball teams.
Villagers take great pride in seeing their teams perform well in competitions, but also in the work that the teams perform.
The team members are proving to be great embassadors for TREEZ :)