Sometimes surprising partnerships lead to unexpected results. Since 2017, the world’s largest humanitarian aid agency the UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) and Land Life Company, with the support of the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, have joined forces to build a Green Refugee Camp in the Far North of Cameroon.
Designed to accommodate 10,000 refugees, the Minawao camp currently hosts over 60,000 people. Land Life Company believes that by planting trees in and around the camp, so much of the pressure the land currently faces can be alleviated. Refugees and local NGOs are trained and eager to begin work scaling reforestation, creating further revenue streams by planting productive trees.
Planting trees can have a far-reaching impact across many aspects of the refugee experience. Providing green alternatives for food, shelter and work, we are proud to have helped cultivate a welcoming, eco-friendly sanctuary for some of our Earth’s most vulnerable people.
Before our work there, the Minawao Refugee Camp only received fresh food three times a year. Today, the mango trees that were planted supplement families’ diets with fresh fruit for almost of half the year. There is even a surplus of the fruit that can be sold locally!
Minawao residents are already benefiting the immense feeling of life that the trees have produced alongside considerable shade and wind protection. In Minawao, our vision goes far beyond planting trees. Wood is being replaced as a fuel source with eco-friendly cooking alternatives manufactured in the camp itself. And sustainable, locally-sourced shelters are quickly replacing plastic tents. Minawao residents also enjoy the shade and wind protection provided by the trees. Wood is with eco-friendly cooking alternatives manufactured within the camp to ensure the longevity of the plantings.
Along with improving their current surroundings, Land Life Company strives to give the people living in Minawao with opportunities for the future. Providing jobs and training in the tree nursery and with planting and maintenance, valuable experience is offered to residents. Refugees also receive regular income and training certificates for the skills acquired. Thus far, with the help of these employees, Land Life Company has reforested more than 100 hectares of severely degraded land.