Introduction to By Life Connected and the Green Safaris Conservation Foundation
Guest | June 29, 2022
We have a very close collaboration with Green Safaris and implement all their community development projects in Livingstone and Kafue National Park. We love working together and would like to share our communal story with you.
We would like to start by introducing ourselves and
sharing our vision with you. By Life Connected was founded by Lars Vermeer, my partner, and myself, Kellie Bocxe from the Netherlands. In this post you see a recent picture of us visiting Livingstone Island & Devil’s Pool during very high water levels!
Our mission is to contribute to preserving African wildlife areas, in active partnership and collaboration with the communities next to these natural areas. We try to achieve this through inclusive development projects that focus on improving sustainable livelihoods, conservation and education.
This passion and drive to follow our mission came from our background and experience during our Master’s degree in Forest and Nature Conservation. We started with this mission in Zambia almost three years ago. With the help of Green Safaris, we’ve been able to grow our projects and our reach in record time.
Green Safaris now operates lodges in several different locations in Zambia, and we are implementing projects together in two different locations: within the Kafue National Park and Livingstone communities. The first is connected to Ila Safari Lodge by Green Safaris and the second to Tongabezi and Livingstone Island & Devil’s Pool.
We are always linked with wildlife areas. The locations require different approaches, as community development means something unique for each area. In the Kafue National park we are directly next to the park and provide communities with alternative livelihoods that will refrain them from poaching and charcoal burning. Thereby we indirectly protect the wildlife of the national park.
For Livingstone, the link is a bit different. There is a major amount of human-wildlife conflict in this area, especially with elephants as Livingstone town lies directly on an old migratory route of elephants. The projects in this area focus on educational purposes and solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, as well as to show communities how these animals are actually contributing to their livelihoods by bringing in tourism.
This has made it very exciting for us to develop projects in both locations and see how we can best achieve the most development and relieve of pressure on the natural resources in both areas.
Before we introduce our different projects, we’d like to start with introducing our amazing By Life Connected team, who are the ones making all of these beautiful Green Safaris projects possible.
In this section, you’ll find all of our team members who are operating in the two locations.
Starting with the team members in Livingstone:
And the team members in the Kafue National Park, Mulendema chiefdom:
The Mukuni Community Farm
The Mukuni Community Farm Project is one of our biggest current projects in Livingstone. In this exciting initiative, By Life Connected in partnership with Green Safaris Conservation Foundation and Mukuni Development Trust are working together to achieve a fully sustainable organic farm.
To realize this goal, we are:
● Implementing sustainable organic agriculture and permaculture practices.
● Promoting food security and promoting nutrition through vegetable production
● Promoting and facilitating sustainable market access for Mukuni community farmers
● Promoting sustainable income generation and employment for improved livelihoods
● Restoring and improving soil fertility through the use of organic manure and rotational grazing practices
● Empowering the local community with knowledge and skills in organic farming for individual, community and economic development
Communal Holistic Grazing Project
In this budding Communal Holistic Grazing System project, BLC and GSCF are mobilising communities and working together to create a large-scale communal herd and implement a holistic grazing plan. Through this rotational grazing system our objective is to:
● Strengthen and increase soil fertility
● Increase forage production
● Reduce impacts of climate change by promoting resistance to drought and reducing soil erosion
● Promote and strengthen community participation in holistic land management
Food Forest Project
The Food Forest Project is a regeneration project that aims at creating a productive ecosystem that mimics natural forests. Since last year we’ve been collecting seeds throughout the year from all sorts of different tree species, varying from fruit trees to indigenous trees and nitrogen-fixing trees. We have a nursery of around 2000 trees that are ready for planting in Mukuni chiefdom once there is a proper irrigation plan for them to survive even the driest of dry seasons!
Through this project we aim at:
● Improving soil fertility by planting regenerative trees
● Promoting community food production and security
● Supporting biodiversity and promoting biodiversity conservation
● Helping communities in Mukuni chiefdom to adapt to climate change
Chicken Cooperation Project
In the Chicken Cooperation Project, we are mobilizing the community and building their capacity in poultry farming and bird management. With these skills, the project participants can now create a sustainable income. By setting it up as a cooperative, we are able to increase job opportunities in both Simonga and Mukuni Chiefdom that are self-sustaining both operationally and financially. The overall goal of this project is to promote sustainable community development.