World Education and long-time partner Alafia recently launched the Women-led, School-based Agroforestry Project in Benin, funded by the Darwin Initiative.
Through this project, we will build on World Education’s renowned mothers’ association (AME) model established in Benin. AMEs are a way for women who, in Benin and many other places are excluded from school- and household-level decision-making, to be involved in and make decisions about children’s education and life. Often, AMEs do this by organizing microenterprises whose proceeds benefit schools.
This new project will work with AMEs and agricultural workers to establish agroforestry plots. Agroforestry, the practice of integrating native tree and shrub species into agricultural systems, can mitigate and increase resilience to climate change. The agroforestry systems will also provide a sustainable approach to growing cash crops for AME-run income-generating activities and sustenance for school canteens.
The project also builds on our more than 30 years of experience running farmer field schools. Farmer field schools use hands-on learning and other adult education techniques to train farmers and agricultural workers on biodiversity-sustaining agriculture.
We’re excited to apply our AME model to our efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change through education and socioeconomic development in Benin.
By Shahla Bajwa