Ethical hats in Zambian style for Finnish winter season

GLM Finland and GLM Zambia have started a new project pilot in Chibobo village in Central Zambia. The purpose of the project is to engage one of the farmer clubs, Chibobo Women, to crochet beanies and barets with Zambian patterns using Finnish wool. The hats will be sold in Finland and the label of the product will include a photo of its maker.

While GLM has a long history of working with Chibobo, this pilot project offers a completely new way of providing additional income to the community members. The product development has been carried out together with Chibobo Women, and it was decided that barets and basic beanies would be made. These hats were chosen, because in Finland the cold season is very long and people need to keep warm, and these hats with local Zambian patterns also look very unique. In addition to producing nice hats, GLM is providing additional work opportunities for the women – which is, after all, the most important thing.

Green Living Movement

Green Living Movement employing Chibobo women to make crocheted hats

Impacts of the Farmers’ Market project enhanced during the last project year

The three-year Farmers’ Market project that GLM has been implementing in Serenje district has reached its final year. The project has improved the marketing and negotiation skills of local farmers in GLM’s partner villages. Donkeys have also been purchased for the villages to help the farmers transport their produce to more profitable markets.

In 2013, the representatives of the local marketing committees made an educational visit to the annual Agricultural and Commercial Show organised in the capital Lusaka. The show is the most important annual event for the agricultural business in Zambia. A video documentary was filmed during the visit in order to document what the farmers have learned during the project. The video will be later shared with other non-governmental organisations and farmers in Zambia to spread the knowledge and experience gained during the project.

At the end of 2013, two project coordinators from GLM Finland visited Zambia to monitor the project’s successes and challenges. The marketing committees formed by local farmers in the partner villages seem to operate well and the committee members are motivated. The farmers have participated in various kinds of training hat has improved their marketing skills. They have learned, for example, about the importance of value addition to ensure that they get better price for their produce. The purchased donkeys are healthy and have adapted well to their new homes. The donkeys have also been used to transport goods, but so far only for short distances. The challenges that the farmers are still facing include insufficient bookkeeping skills as well as lack of mobile network which makes it difficult to contact GLM Zambia’s project coordinator and potential buyers.

During the last year of project implementation, GLM is organising training on bookkeeping for the marketing committees. The committees will also create new business plans for the future, and they are encouraged to diversify the ways the donkeys are used. An application was submitted for a two-year extension of the project in order to strengthen the already learned skills.

GLM Swaziland raising awareness on the World Environment Day

On the 5th June 2014, the world celebrated the World Environment Day under the slogan “Raise Your Voice, Not Emissions”. In Swaziland, the Ministry of Tourism and Environment Affairs with the Swaziland and Environment Authority and various NGOs, including GLM Swaziland, gathered together to make sure that environmental issues are addressed also in Swaziland during this global celebration. The event took place at Siteki Town in the Lubombo region.

Our aim as GLM was to raise awareness of our organisation, its vision and activities among the people present at the event. The event also provided an opportunity for networking with other NGOs. The activities that GLM spread information about included the construction and use of dry sanitation, treatment and re-use of grey water at the household level as well as solid waste disposal with emphasis on reduce, reuse and recycle (3Rs).

GLM participated in World Environment Day

During this year’s World Environment Day (WED) event held in Lusaka on 5th of June, GLM shared information on organic farming and organic pest control as a way of achieving sustainable farming and agriculture as a whole.

Allan Spider Mbulo, an agroforestry farmer working with GLM, said: “Our nature has value because of its ability to sustain production and productivity, and it should not be underestimated. Nature helps small-scale farmers to produce at reduced cost and without polluting the environment”.

GLM teaching what is agroforestry

Small-scale farmer Mr. Allan Mbulo sharing information about organic farming and agroforestry

IPCC released a new report on climate change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its fifth report on the impacts of climate change. The report is based on multi-disciplinary research on adaptation and mitigation options in different regions. GLM is particularly interested in the situation in southern Africa where the organisation operates.

Impacts will be worse in Africa than in many other regions of the world. The rise in mean temperatures will be faster than the global average increase. In all seasons, minimum and maximum temperatures will rise from 3 to 6 degree during this century. Extreme heat waves follow El Niño events, which means drought. Changes in precipitation are more difficult to forecast because of the lack of measuring it in the past, but decrease is possible, especially in the areas which are already dry.

Changes in the climate will have drastic impacts on the daily life in Africa. The small-scale farmers who GLM works with have already experienced this, since their livelihoods depend largely on agriculture and livestock. IPCC forecasts shorter growing seasons, negative effects on yields as well as changes in vegetation and pests. Agriculture in Zambia is focused on growing maize which may suffer up to 30% losses in yields after 2050. Farmers, therefore, need to start to diversifying their crops in order to ensure food security in the future. Cassava, for example, is resilient to higher temperatures.

Many countries have developed adaptation programmes, but implementation has been slow. The multi-disciplinary nature of climate change and variations in the impacts within each country have been a challenge. Many NGOs have taken responsibility for training local communities. GLM currently supports eight villages in Zambia and two in Swaziland. Our work provides villagers the opportunity to plan their future in a sustainable way. Agroforestry and diversification of livelihood sources are examples of ways to secure life.

Super Analytics improves our visibility in search engines

Super Analytics chose Green Living Movement as a partner to implement a search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing campaign for a website of a charity organisation. GLM in Finland, Zambia and Swaziland will all benefit from this opportunity to improve the visibility of our website! Super Analytics is a digital marketing company specialising in SEO. Once GLM’s findability in search engines improves, we are hoping to get more volunteers and members involved in our work. This project also allows us to finalise our website, a process that started two years ago, in a great way!


New dry sanitation and waste management project in Mbabane

A dry sanitation and waste management project to be implemented in Mbabane between 2014-2016 has received funding from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The project will be jointly implemented by the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland, Turku University of Applied Sciences, GLM Swaziland, University of Swaziland (UNISWA) and the City Council of Mbabane. The project builds on the long-term cooperation between the Turku University of Applied Sciences with Swaziland partners focusing on environmental issues in the capital Mbabane.

The project is implemented in the communities of Malagwane, Mangwane and Mnyamatsini. It aims to improve the state of the environment in the project areas by developing their sanitation and waste management. Young people, in particular, will be trained on environmental health, dry sanitation, construction of dry toilets, composting, gardening, utilisation of grey water as well as waste management, reuse and recycling. Their capacity will also be strengthened in various other areas including participatory group work, management and leadership. The young people will form a group in their region which will function as an information-sharing channel in the community and also start small-scale businesses on the basis of the acquired knowledge and skills.

In addition to the youth, the project will specifically target local authorities and media. Local authorities will be disseminated information on the opportunities of dry sanitation as an alternative form of sanitation as well as on sustainable waste management. The training will be based on previous sanitation and waste management projects in Msunduza, enabling the replication of solutions, such as a community recycling centre established in Msunduze, in other regions. Sanitation, in particular, poses challenges to development, which is, however, not openly talked about in Swaziland. The project will also bring together media representatives to discuss the topic and to share information about this sensitive issue in various media.

The local partners each play a specific role in the project. GLM Swaziland is responsible for field work, for example, while the University of Swaziland will provide local academic expertise on the topic and enable utilisation of students in the project. As a local authority, the City Council of Mbabane monitors project implementation as well as acts as an expert and network connection to project stakeholders, such as other authorities. This project will provide GLM Swaziland with invaluable experience of a larger-scale initiative, expertise from the other partners as well as visibility as an organisation in a rather limited civil society.

GLM Finland is looking for a part-time Coordinator

Sorry, this entry is only available in Finnish.

GLM’s Climate work expands in Zambia

GLM Zambia and GLM Finland got a funding for the project ‘Community strategies for climate-resilient livelihoods‘ from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The project aims to build community resilience to the impacts of Climate Change through awareness raising, different capacity trainings and support in best practices of sustainable agriculture and livelihood diversification on Climate Change adaptation.

Three-year project will be implemented in 2014-2016 in four communities including Kafubu Farm Block in Luanshya district and Shimbizhi in Mumbwa with who GLM has worked before. The new project communities Chiyumu and Chikuni in Monze district were identified through the Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN).

GLM Climate resilient livelihoods

Green Living Movement working with the community in Mumbwa

Farmers’ Market project receives visitors from Finland

The Farmers’ Market project has been running for almost two years in GLM’s partner communities in the Serenje district in Zambia. During the project, farmers’ knowledge of marketing issues and bargaining has greatly improved. They have also completed financial and business reports and visited markets in Lusaka, to mention a few of the activities. The marketing committees have showed good progress, and the market centres have made a profit since the first year.

The distances between the communities and the nearest town are long and the transportation of the products has been a big problem. The project has now purchased seven donkeys to help farmer clubs with the transportation but also with the field work. The donkeys have been healthy and adapted well to the new environment. The training of the donkeys has also started well and they have already been used in the farmers’ fields.

The time has now come for GLM Finland to monitor the project together with GLM Zambia. The project coordinators will visit the project communities of Nambo, Kundalumwanshya and Luanshimba in October and discuss the challenges and good practises with the communities.

GLM Zambia donkeys

The donkeys have helped farmers with transportation but also provided draught power