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EECAT ~ Exploring and Exchanging Communications

about Trees

February 24th 2023

Great News ~ Trees of Hope have secured funding from Bath Spa University for the exciting new EECAT project.

Read more below...

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The main aim of the project Exploring and Exchanging Communications about Trees (EECAT) is to enable the
participants to express their thinking and feeling about local efforts that are being made to
increase the number of trees in the environment. As part of this enquiry, community
members, teachers and children will be able to express their thinking and feeling about actions
they themselves are taking to improve local tree cover. Others with an interest in this theme,
who are witnessing these actions, will also be invited to contribute their ideas, in response to
photographs, pictures and carefully prepared descriptions of tree planting activities that are
happening. It will be the responsibility of the research team from the University of Zimbabwe
to make sure that the thoughts and feelings of those taking action and of others who are
interested are collected and represented fairly. In this way it is hoped that the wider community
will be satisfied and excited by the report on the activities of Trees of Hope that is produced.

The actions themselves are intended to improve the ecology of the lands surrounding Chinyere
and Chiriseri villages. These actions will be carefully planned by Trees of Hope workers in
collaboration with the SCOPE training team who will offer training in permacultural and
ecological approaches. The teachers at Govera Primary School will also be involved in the
training so that they are best informed about how to develop the grounds of the school as a
forest garden. It will be the teachers’ responsibility to ensure that children at the school
become lead actors and learners in this transformation of the school environment.

The ECAT project provides funding that is necessary to support the training of the Trees of Hope
team and the teachers and also the development of the forest garden itself at the school. It is
hoped that the way that local community members share their ideas about this tree project will
help others to understand how trees are valued in such a rural community in Zimbabwe. In this
way the communications about trees that are shared in this pilot project can be the basis for
further work of this kind in the neighbourhood of Domboshawa. For this reason the ECAT
project team are encouraging the wider community to participate. The details on the consent
form show how the identities and sensitivities of all participants will be protected.

Hennock Primary School in the UK has also been invited to participate as a linked partner
where teachers and children will develop their own school grounds as a forest garden. They will
be introduced to the work through research fellows at Bath Spa University and through the
support of an ecologist who will provide some training. The link between Blackawton Primary
School and Govera Primary School will enable the children and teachers to share their thinking
and feeling about trees through music and artforms that can be shared electronically.
The project will run from March to August 2023
Funds have been generously awarded by Bath Spa University

Dr Nick Clough and Dr Jane Tarr

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