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A Sustainable Tomorrow – Akilah Jaramogi of the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP) on the island of Trinidad

Strategies used for promoting environmental conservation by Trinidadian Akilah Jaramogi, Founder of the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project

Akilah Jaramogi, featured in this video, is Founder and Director of the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP) on the island of Trinidad, in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. She observed the effects of climate change on the forests where she lived with her husband, and wanted to change the area which was being ravaged by annual fires in the dry season. This annual occurrence prevented residents from engaging in long-term farming, as they were forced to leave the land to burn each year. Akilah harnessed strategies of networking and sisterhood – women supporting women – in particular, to establish FACRP, her non-governmental organization (NGO), in her commitment to care for the environment and preserve it for future generations. She is also an artisan, making ‘Akilah’s Jewelry’ using natural materials.

“Invest in trees,” she suggested to her late husband, Takuma Jaramogi, to move them from short-term farming to long-term farming. She worked with local government and community members alike, pulling resources together to develop her agro-forestry project in 1982 in the Fondes Amandes Watershed, in St Anns, Trinidad. She also learned from others while serving as a board member at another NGO, the Cotton Tree Foundation, which she felt was a strategic position contributing to her success.

The FACRP has since been awarded the Trinidad & Tobago President’s Hummingbird Gold Medal (2007) among other awards, and Akilah’s work has expanded across the Caribbean region. When she meets other artisans, she encourages the use of natural materials, which only become more available through environmental conservation, and also reduce pollution with synthetic materials.

Akilah’s networking, engaging persons of diverse backgrounds and positions, and sisterhood propels her in her commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, saying that “we cannot fail the next generation.” She took action (A – Porter and Daniel 2007) that was collaborative, community-focused and respectful. Can you identify any other ways that Akilah illustrates the FTL model of leadership?

Supplemental resources:

Watch the entire video here: IGDS – IWD 2022 Akilah Jaramogi. A Sustainable Tomorrow

Over to you!

Watch Akilah tell her story. Has this inspired you, and if so, how? Now that you have seen how Akilah has established and grown her community-based agro-forestry project, tell us in the comments what you think was the most impactful aspect of her story.

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