Changemaker: Rutendo Nyanhanda
Country of Implementation: Zimbabwe
The Manica Youth Assembly (MAYA) is a non-profit, non-partisan solution-centred youth grassroots-based advocacy organisation, which seeks to empower young people to actively and holistically participate in public affairs and proffer solutions. MAYA envisions a society that values young people while protecting and promoting human rights and environment and climate justice, with young people taking the lead. The organisation's mission is empowerment and engagement with youth to become advocates for the achievement of social accountability in governance as well as for environmental and climate justice through the involvement and participation of local communities. MAYA values transparency, participation, equality, and justice. The organisation has embarked on programmes of forestation and reforestation to respond to the deforestation crisis around Mutare, especially areas surrounding Dangamvura. Indeed, many factors have resulted in the deforestation of Dangamvura Mountain, Murahwa, Sheni, Fern valley, and even the Games at Christmas Pass Mountain have been plundered for firewood/energy purposes. MAYA observed that there is a need for a robust forestation and reforestation programme through land preparation, thereby resulting in the planting of both exotic and indigenous trees that will help keep the mountain intact. It is a transformative project that will help to re-green the mountains and increase the circulation of air in Mutare. The mountain and trees act as wind barriers which help to prevent natural disasters. Trees help to keep the soil intact which reduces soil erosion. The mountain will also help to preserve various species that are on the verge of extinction.