Rombo isn’t an easy place to get to. You’ll need to drive for quite some time on the remote roads of Tanzania. In terms of distance, it isn’t too far from Mt. Kilimanjaro, a frequently visited and easily accessible spot. But getting from the city areas to the village of Rombo takes slow drives up rocky roads. The visit is worth it, however, because of the people you’d meet.
You’ll meet people who are walking examples of the difference sustainability makes.
Many of the farmers in Rombo used to rely pretty heavily on industrial materials in their practices. The idea of community development mostly revolved around savings, but it wasn’t until much more recently that they started to connect those activities with how important a healthy environment is to their lives.
“We met a Plant With Purpose facilitator who told us about organic farming and environmental conservation,” explains Restuta, a community member. “Since then, we’ve changed.”
“We’ve started using compost and we no longer use harmful chemicals. We used to spend money on industrial fertilizers, but now we can save that money and use it in better ways.”
Not only that, but many of the women have reported their kids getting sick less often and increasingly healthy crops grown in the nutrient-rich compost soil.
You’ll meet locals who have turned into leaders.
Samuel is another individual passionate about compost soil. “It improves fertility and that fertility stays on your farm for a long time. So you can use compost and apply it this farming season and harvest, and even if you plant next season, your crops will still be supported and will grow well,” he tells us.
Samuel will talk about compost soil to anyone willing to listen. He is a natural teacher, and Plant With Purpose’s work in Rombo has given him plenty of opportunities to pass his knowledge on to other members of the community.
Plant With Purpose’s model isn’t a top down approach, but a system of partnerships where useful advice, knowledge, or wisdom can be easily exchanged within a community. In platforms like his Farmer Field School, Samuel can pass along his knowledge to his neighbors.
You’ll also witness spiritual renewal
While the community of Rombo has experienced lots of positive transformation in the past few years, God has been at the center of it all.
Activities designed to protect people’s farms aren’t solely for the purpose of growing more food, although it accomplishes that. These farmers also have learned how to go about their daily work as an act of worship.
“We thank God that we now understand and take part in God’s creation with tree nurseries and organic agriculture,” explains Christina, a local. “We are so thankful for what we can do as a group, and as individuals.”
She went on to explain the intricacies of compost soil and the microorganisms that reside within. She marveled at how God designed even these specific details. As you might guess, Rombo is a community that loves God and that loves making healthy soil. They show us how that can go hand-in-hand.
Rombo is just one of many communities in Tanzania where Plant With Purpose is working to create lasting change. Want to help a community like Rombo? Learn about becoming a Purpose Partner.