Collective Change Begins With One

by | Jun 5, 2019 | Seeds: Our Blog

It can be so simple to acknowledge a community problem, a life hurdle or a world issue and rationalize that as an individual, there isn’t much we can do. However, TPP grantees know that every person is a part of the larger whole and it is our individual acts of helping, educating, communicating, welcoming and sharing joy with others that collectively lifts human kind and restores the planet. Reading, learning and spreading the work of the organizations below is an individual step towards remembering that we are all in this together and that everyday we make a difference in this world whether we know it or not.


Environment And Food Foundation, E2F – Biodiversity Conservation In Lake Ossa, Cameroon

Biodiversity Conservation in Lake Ossa, Cameroon is a project aiming to build the capacity of indigenous farmers and conserving the lake and its surroundings. Due to human induced activities, such as deforestation, Lake Ossa is highly polluted. During the project the farmers will benefit from environmental education lectures and participate in the planting of native trees along the lake to help hold soil in place and reduce erosion and runoff. The lake serves as a habitat for a myriad of wildlife, including the African manatee, the most charismatic species of the lake, freshwater turtles, crocodiles, monitor lizards, snakes, and many aquatic birds.

The lake is also an important habitat of over 18 families of fish, dominated by Cichlidae and Mormyridae. The lake is the main source of livelihoods to the indigenous people. Through this project the farmers will have access to environmental education leading to lake and biodiversity conservation.


Megan Johnston – The Joy Diaries

The Joy Diaries is exploring a social business idea focused on preventing suicide in first responders and military personnel. The idea is to provide effective mechanisms for finding and receiving joy and to empower a first responder’s community to support them more effectively when they are unable to access traditional supports and services. This includes support from everyday community members as well as providing a platform to connect first responder personnel with other service members who have shared experiences but are not in proximity to the local community and are thus outside the immediate traumatic event. Suicide in this demographic is now exceeding line of duty deaths in most jurisdictions. We all have a responsibility to prevent these deaths.

The Pollination Project grant funds will be used to conduct user research to confirm planned features are desired in the target audience and to further refine the concept in preparation for seeking additional funding. The Joy Diaries idea was born out of personal lived experience working with first responder communities struggling to support each other following occupational stress. 6 years ago Megan Johnston watched helplessly as a close friend lost someone to suicide. These experiences left her with a strong conviction that our communities have a responsibility for all the lives in them.

Fundación Casa Culutral La Chispa – Movimiento Y Meditación En Medellín

Based in Medellín, Colombia, La Chispa Cultural Center and its café, El Arrebato are community spaces committed to peace as well as political, social and environmental justice. La Chispa and El Arrebato accompany the local community through the creation, design and implementation of alternative education programs, providing a safe space for creation, transformation, peace and reconciliation through debate, historical memory, artistic and cultural activities.

Movimiento y Meditación en Medellín is a project working to create optimal conditions in our body movement and meditation studio. The work addresses various social, political and environmental justice issues, and this particular grant will help in establishing the space. This space helps people work through difficult issues corporally, teaches new skills and helps the community reflect to be able to transform. War causes communal trauma, and part of this programming is focused on healing. Health and wellness are a part of the culture that we need to promote and applaud. The cultural center provides safe spaces to learn, heal and grow and is creating community in our neighborhood by providing a place for art, education and activism.

Abosi Muma, Children Home International – Inclusive Classrooms For Visually Impaired Students

Muma Abosi’s project, Inclusive Classrooms for Visually Impaired Students, is an initiative to integrate visually impaired students from disadvantaged families in Etug-Ebe, Yaounde, Cameroon in real time study alongside their peers. Muma Abosi, together with Children Home International, an organization that promotes the education of children, will provide visually impaired students with educational didactic materials like writing frames, styluses, recorders and white canes in order to improve their learning experience and make the classroom more inclusive. This project is designed to help visually impaired children who cannot afford necessary didactic materials acquire the education they need in order to improve their chances in life and break out of the cycle of poverty.


Tansi Godwill Tansi And Jitiz Louis – Empowering Poor Landless Farmers In Bana Village, Cameroon

Tansi Godwill Tansi is an environmental, climate, and sustainability activist passionate for a greener planet and the Founder/Executive Director of ECODAS-Cameroon, a registered non-governmental and non-profit organization committed to finding sustainable solutions to problems faced by the underprivileged rural and environmentally delicate communities in Cameroon.

After working with grassroots communities in Cameroon for over 7 years, Tansi developed an understanding to the problems these communities face. He is inspired to work towards a planet in which sustainable development is inclusive; that is not leaving any community or people behind. His project, Empowering Poor Landless Farmers, has a goal to ensure food security, improve nutritional status, redress poverty, and improve the relationship that landless, marginalized, and poor farmers have with the environment through organic vegetable production.

This project will mobilize 30 landless and poor farmers living Below the Poverty Line (BPL) in the Bana village into a producer cooperative provide them with essential vegetable production inputs including quality seeds, organic fertilizer and farm equipment for them to start organic farms while providing them with standard training on sustainable vegetable production, group management, accountability and market-related information. The project makes use of participatory extension approaches like the farmer field schools and the formation of producer group to ensure the success and sustainability of project interventions beyond the project phase.


Engage Globally – TREE: Teaching Reforestation And Environmental Education

TREE, Teaching Reforestation and Environmental Education, project is a collaboration between local community leaders and Engage Globally, founded by Heather Heckel, a longtime sustainability educator. TREE will empower youth, engage communities in reforestation, and provide environmental education opportunities in rural Northern Ghana. Early childhood education students, older youth in a scholarship program, and families will plant 40 trees around two early childhood education centers.

Teachers will teach about tree planting and forests in their place-based learning curriculum. In this heavily deforested region, the trees will provide shade and fruit, and serve as a model for future reforesting efforts.


Close Friends And Lovers Of Football – Football: A Gateway To Opportunities For Youths In Kumba

Everyday in Kumba, Cameroon you can find youths playing football and local analysis states that more than 80% of these youths are school dropouts who engage in drugs and violence and seek career workshops. For the duration of his life, Enoh John Agbor has stayed in this region and played in amateur leagues and seen the positive impact the sport brings to people. He sees the sport as a gateway to opportunities that spread happiness, compassion, joy, and love for mankind through acts of kindness and generosity. His initiative, Football: A Gateway to Opportunities for Youths in Kumba, will organize football competitions, which involve eight teams representing neighborhoods in Kumba.

The top players from the project will be supported to go back to school or take their football levels to another city. During the competition, participants will attend lectures from experts who will address drug abuse, career opportunities, and diverting violence. Funds from the grant will allowJohn to run the competition and also make key arrangements for the experts to deliver lectures throughout the competition and thereafter.


Doxie, Madeline Frost, Mike Willenborg – Burners Without Borders Detroit: Free Store

Having the opportunity to pick out clothes, share a shopping experience, and receive barbering services are basic human experiences in the United States that many of us take for granted. Burners Without Borders Detroit’s pop-up free stores are an opportunity for Detroit’s at-risk community to not only receive essential supplies and barbering services, but to also be acknowledged with dignity.

A Detroit native and inspirational doer, Danielle “Doxie” Kaltz has been serving Detroit’s homeless population for well over a decade by coalescing inspired members of the Detroit Burning Man community into real-impact projects and connections.


Eco Warriors For The Future – Eco-Youths For The Future In The Chomba Community Forest

Fontoh Desmond is the founder of Cepow Cameroon, an organization with the goal to build on the theory of change, through healthier/sustainable solutions on uprising environmental issues. Alongside his team, they believe that by training and empowering youth on forest conversation is one of the best ways to promote future sustainable forest management. This will permit the youth to connect to nature and create change for the future.

Working in communities, Fontoh and his team will be bringing their compassionate environmental education workshops to young people in Cameroon. Further with the planting of over 25000 trees they will ensure the restoration of habitat and degraded areas in their focus forest while conserving the lone water catchment a source to a population of 6,500 persons.

GLOT – Le Petit Prix (The Little Prize)

GLOT is an entrepreneur NGO that is inspired by the love of languages as a mean of social change. Found in Medellín, Colombia by Diana Suárez, Lina Restrepo, and other partners that have had the opportunity to learn several languages, it’s their time to give back. Together they know that the word “gratitude” is a word for the people who believe in their work, volunteer their time, or contribute a donation, all which allow them to bring about opportunities for personal growth through native and foreign language skill development at the community level for both individuals and local non-governmental organizations. Similar to The Pollination Project, they believe in the commitment to a better world that is powered by the language of love.

K.B. Ntiamoah, P.K.Hammond, And K. Owusu – How To Cultivate Tomato On A Land Tested Positive For Wilt

Tomato is globally consumed vegetable, however bacteria wilt is a great threat to its organic cultivation, even in green house structures. As a result of this, K.B. Ntiamoah, K. Owusu, and P.K Hammond have established How to Cultivate Tomato on a Land Tested Positive for Wilt, an initiative in Dunkwa-Offin, Ghana. According to Ghana’s National Tomatoes Traders and Transporters Association, the country currently imports $99.9 million worth of tomatoes from their northern neighbor, Burkina Faso as a result of the bacteria ridden wilt and disengagement of the local youth. The grant funds will be used to carry out laboratory analyses of soil samples, public education, transportation, and plastic containers.

Johanna Hoffman – Climate Stories

Climate Stories is an interactive community hub that cultivates grassroots support for climate adaptation planning. A multi-sensory exploration of what the world could be like in 200 years, the project serves as a collective space for processing concerns about our changing climate & creating more grassroots engagement in how we plan & prepare for our future.

This work was created because climate change is the critical issue of our time yet proactive planning initiatives are sorely lacking. The phenomenon is so complex and many would rather deny that it’s happening at all . At present, only 41% of Americans think climate change will cause them harm. For those who accept that climate change is real & manmade, it’s still easy to despair. The problem is so big, it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s no wonder that the EPA rates 679 U.S. counties as highly vulnerable to climate change, yet only 280 have committed to the Paris Climate Agreement with active adaptation planning.

Over the next 2 years, Johanna and her team will complete the build out of our mobile version of Climate Stories & install it in 10 different US communities at-risk from climate impacts. During this time, they will grow our VR/AR capabilities so that they can offer immersive digital experiences of Climate Stories to people & communities unable able to engage with Climate Stories in person. In this way, they plan to scale the project’s impact & reach. The Pollination Project funds will be used to cover time, travel, food & community engagement work for Climate Stories operators to our first physical deployment site in Oakland, California.

Shy Ali, Stella Masamba – Permacultural Environment Management Project

The Permacultural Environment Management Project in Malawi is co-created by Shy Ali and Stella Masamba to address effects of climate change resulting from deforestation and other human activities impacting on environment in the rural communities of T/A Chigaru, Blantyre. Economically speaking, the community survives on farming and cutting down of trees for charcoal, thus leading to environmental degradation.

The primary goal of this work is to help improve the local environment and offer continuous income generating activities to the disadvantaged household communities. The project established tree nurseries, offers community engagement opportunities in homestead vegetables and medicinal gardens, and addresses reforestation of the deforested lands and riverbanks for environmental conservation through the involvement of communities in implementing and monitoring project activities.

Dare To Be Free Team – Fortaleciéndonos Entre Mujeres – Strengthening Among Women

Strengthening Among Women is a project in Tlaxcala whereby female program participants construct ecological shoes with the aim of creating and establishing alliances between women and promoting new leadership. As a result of these skills being acquired, Geovanny Pérez López hopes that the women will be economically empowered, thus being generators of their own revenue and managers of businesses, as well as contributors to the environment. Funds from The Pollination Project will not only generate the establishment of women alliances however will also facilitate trainings in sustainable development, skill acquisition, and trainings in business development and sales strategies.

Written by Milena Fraccari