The Kesho Trust

our journal

Subscribe to our email newsletter (at right) to receive select news & announcements, as well as journal stories, by email.

Good Hope Update 2018

January 7, 2019  | 

As usual it is great to get Rosemary’s updates on all the activity at Good Hope after she makes her annual trek to Tanzania!  Unfortunately this one missed our Christmas newsletter but it available here and on our website.   Good Hope Update December 2018

Website link for Good Hope current and past updates

Population and Environment

December 5, 2016  |  Beatrice Simon

The Kesho Trust was invited to attend a recent information workshop regarding research on the links between population and the environment. A local volunteer with Kesho Trust, Beatrice Simon, who has worked with us in Saadani [in photo] and in Kiteto District attended on our behalf. We are grateful to Beatrice for her participation. Her report on the workshop follows:

Demographic Dividend –Workshop for Environmental Organizations

mikumi-084-cI was fortunate to be able to represent the Kesho Trust at a workshop conducted at Flomi Hotel in Morogoro, Tanzania. Hosted by Pathfinder International the workshop focused on the interrelationship between population and various socio-economic sectors such as environment and how population impacts these sectors and the Sustainable Development Goals. A variety of Tanzanian environmental organizations were invited. Pathfinder is an organization that removes barriers to critical sexual and reproductive health services in developing countries, ensuring millions of women, men and young people are able to choose their own paths forward.

The workshop was useful for me because I gained important knowledge on the relationship between environment and population. Worldwide population is still increasing while the resources remain the same. Population growth hinders economic opportunities as a result of high child dependency. This is true because most people especially in rural areas do not use family planning often due to factors such as lack of education. Socioeconomic growth through managing demographics can be achieved through reducing the child dependency burden and improving human capital through investment in health and education. When birth rates declinesignificantly, there will be more working-aged adults, which will open the window of opportunity for accelerating economic growth through increased productivity.

Also underemployment as a result of high population will be reduced when countries, particularly developing countries, invest in different sectors such as agriculture and industrialization. This investment is accentuated through the multiplier effect. Education, health, family planning, and economic reforms are important wheels in achieving population stability and dividends. Different organization and stakeholders should encourage education, particularly female school enrollment and use of family planning in order to reduce child dependency. Family planning reduces child dependency and the burden of catering for children hence enhance economic growth. These principles and implications of population profiles are important for organizations such as The Kesho Trust especially as it works to enhance education and sustainable livelihoods for the local people in the villages where we work.

Trip Report: Bruce K. Downie, Director

November 12, 2016  |  Bruce K. Downie, Director

As the Canadian representative to the Tanzanian Board of Directors, I have taken a fairly prominent role in the development of the Kesho Trust program in Tanzania. I attempt to visit regularly and this recent visit had a fairly extensive agenda of activities. I have tried to capture the highlights in this journal entry with brief notes on each of the topic areas I addressed during the trip.


20161018_112148We have developed a partnership initiative with our Loliondo partners, the Enguserosambu Forest Trust, based on the work of our volunteer Lindsay Staples following his month long assignment in the village late last year. On this trip I joined with EFT members, Samwel Nangiria (L) and Mark Talash (R) [see photo], to promote the initiative to representatives of a number of donor agencies in Dar es Salaam. Not all connections were possible during the trip but Director Victoria Mushi is following up with the Canadian High Commission representatives. Our meetings generated considerable interest. Besides building a network of informed and interested organizations we are hoping that funding support for the work will also follow.

Board Member Meetings

The logistics of gathering board members together at a single location proved impossible this trip so instead I met with board members at different times. I met with Dar es Salaam based members, Sympho Hangi and Victoria Mushi and subsequently with Agnes Sirima and Alfred Kikoti in Morogoro. Unfortunately I was unable to connect with the last member of the board Jafari Kideghesho as he is now based in Moshi and my time was too short to make that trip. However the meetings were productive and I thank the board members for their continuing active support.

Meeting with Volunteers

One of the important ways that Kesho Trust works is through volunteers. We have had a significant number of people from Canada go to work on our projects and with our local partners. What allows this to happen is the link between international volunteers and local Tanzanian staff and volunteers. Without that local support hosting our Canadian volunteers would be impossible. We are looking to expand the cadre of local volunteers so that we can utilize more international students and interns that are becoming available to us.

I met with interested Tanzanians in Dar es Salaam during this trip to determine the level of interest and to explore the range of activities these young people would be interested in. We are encouraged to find many people, typically recent university graduates, looking for experience with an organization like the Kesho Trust. We now need to raise the necessary funds to allow them to be supported in their work, especially in the field assignments that are available in Kihembe.

Miseni Visit


It is always enjoyable to visit our project sites outside of Dar es Salaam.  On this occasion I was hosted by Costa Coucoulis, Director of our partner organization SANA, at his new camp in Gongo.  The visit provided an important opportunity to view and discuss efforts to conserve buffer lands to the Zaraninge Forest in the area between Gongo, Matipwili and the Wami River.

Kihembe facility

20161101_142213A key part of the reason for visiting the Saadani area was to check the facilities at Kihembe and determine what finishing was necessary to prepare for international students coming to live and work there in the new year.  We met with Juma, our onsite caretaker, and made plans for improvements that will be undertaken.

New village forest conservation

Representatives of the village of Manda Mazingara connected with our Kihembe team while we were in Mkange. They invited us to visit a forest area within their village. They wanted us to work with them to protect the forest and at the same time develop benefits to the community that would raise the level of well being of residents.



The forest landscape was interesting and in relatively good condition although like most of the village areas around Saadani deforestation for purposes of charcoal production was reducing protected landscapes at an alarming rate. The fact that this village recognized the issue and wanted to do something about it before it was too late was extremely encouraging. A spiritual hill was a prominent feature that we visited and our guides reported the presence of interesting wildlife.

img_0020Following the field visit we met with a group of elders and community leaders to discuss what could be done. Although no commitments were made we suggested that further study of the potential might be undertaken by students who we anticipated would be coming to work at Kihembe in January. Once further review was possible we could then sit and discuss future plans.


We have not taken advantage of the office space donated to us over the past year by Nicola Colangelo in part because of its location. We are currently investigating other space and setting up volunteer assistance to run the office on a regular basis. There will be more news on the plans when they are confirmed.


Practical experience in Saadani

July 14, 2016  |  Penina Mairo

penina mairoI was fortunate to volunteer with the Kesho Trust during some recent workshops in villages adjacent to Saadani National Park related to community based tourism initiatives.

I was very interested to participate in these activities since my passion is to cooperate with people who want to conserve nature through tourism within their communities. I think it is important to help find different ways for the communities to benefit from tourism resources and identify opportunities for tourism developments within and outside the community.

During the community based tourism training that I attended, I found it especially interesting that the villagers were able to identify and explain a little history about their attractions as well as describe how they would benefit from those resources. I was also impressed by the confidence of the villagers, how ready they were to be involved in conservation and their keenness to conduct tourism enterprises within their villages.

workshop 2From this experience with the Kesho Trust project I feel more able to assist communities in and around the park to recognize the importance of conserving natural resources and use them sustainably for tourism. It is important to find different ways that can help the villagers to benefit from these resources.

I really appreciated the opportunity to attend the community based tourism training and for the experience of working with the community people.


older journal entries