The Giving Tree’s- Improving Communication

August 13, 2021

In November-December, TIST developed a communications tool that opened up a new way to learn from TIST Cluster Participants. Using CommCare by Dimagi, Cluster Participants update Leadership on their activities, share best practices, and help TIST Leadership respond to TIST Farmers.

Cluster Participants have observed a TIST farmer planting maize and beans using Conservation Farming techniques, consistent use of masks and sanitizers, good examples of boundary tree planting, efficient cook stoves (or jikos), making of biogas, and rotating crops. One family demonstrated the use of small dams on their farm for irrigation. Another TIST Small Group was working together to raise tree seedlings.

Kenya Luke Allana is a cluster participant that passed due to COVID 19 complications, Uganda

Kenya Luke was one of TISTs most enthusiastic and committed trainers and joined the program in Uganda in 2016. He was also an elected official and was responsible for introducing TIST throughout his community. It is thought that he contracted the disease because his home is located close to South Sudan where there are many Covid 19 cases and an area of conflict significantly impacted by the ongoing insurgency of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Kenya Luke strongly believed in the power of tree planting to support his community, saying “When you plant trees, people will not look at you as someone who is a desperate person. People will start respecting you.”

To prepare for Cluster Meetings, the governments in Kenya and Uganda continue to lift the stay-at-home restrictions, TIST Cluster Participants have begun planning for safely resuming the monthly Cluster Meetings.
  • Before notifying TIST Farmers that Cluster Meetings will resume, Cluster Participants check with local government officials to confirm that such gatherings are allowed.
  • TIST Farmers are reminded to wear masks, use sanitizer, and maintain social distancing at these meetings and while traveling to and from the meetings.
  • The Cluster Servants are coordinating the meetings with the current Cluster Leader to ensure that TIST Farmers follow the health measures recommended by the health ministries and TIST Leadership.
  • The Cluster Meetings are typically held outside and Cluster Servants are identifying meeting points where there is enough space for social distancing.
  • Larger Clusters are scheduling multiple Cluster meetings to reduce the number of farmers attending each one.