Meet the Regenerators

Mary Milne from Traidcraft Exchange introduces their new appeal.

I wonder if you’ve seen Sir David Attenborough’s recent Netflix documentary A Life on our Planet? If you haven’t, it’s well worth a watch. He documents the changes which have happened over his lifetime, the species lost and the changing climate – and points the finger at human activity as the cause.

I work for Traidcraft Exchange, which was set up by Traidcraft back in the 1980’s to help people get a better deal from trade. Through our work with communities in Bangladesh, India and East Africa, we’ve seen the impact that climate change has been having. And we know that Sir David’s belief that human activity is to blame is backed up by the science.

But we also know that it is more complicated than that – because it’s actually just a small minority of humans who have been responsible for the vast majority of carbon emissions.

Those of us living in the industrialised parts of the world have burnt the coal, driven the cars, travelled on the planes and consumed the goods which have released the carbon.

All the while, others have seen none of the benefits, but are living daily with the consequences.

Meet Athuman from Tanzania. He sees the reality of climate change around him.

‘Back then, even if there were floods, they usually happen after like 5 or 10 years,’ he says, thinking back to how the climate used to be. ‘They [floods] usually came during the long rain season not before that. The rains used to come in time and it was not as scattered as now where some of the places have rain, some don’t. … These days when the floods come, they cover a very large area.’

A couple of years ago, the floods were so bad they reached his house. ‘One day I was sleeping in the farmhouse with my wife and in the middle of the night water came and the farmhouse fell down. Thankfully we got out safe. On top of the farmhouse there were some maize stored there, after the fall some of the maize was lost in the water.’

People like Athuman and his family have seen none of the benefits of Western industrial development which has fuelled climate change. Tanzania’s carbon emissions amount to just 0.3 tonnes per person per year, compared to 5.7 tonnes for each of us in the UK[1]. But they don’t need to debate whether climate change is real. They see it every year, destroying their homes, their crops and their livelihoods.

But people like Athuman are ready to make change to tackle climate change. They know what they need to do, they just need support to get started. They are the Regenerators – and they have plans.

Together, Athuman and others like him are taking a stand against climate change. They can plant crops that can grow in extreme weather, protect the forests and invest in climate-smart technology. From greenhouses, to solar panels and new irrigation techniques, Athuman and his community already know that there are solutions to the problems they face – they just need your support to get started.

And at the same time, by learning new skills and changing how they farm, the Regenerators can increase their profits and turn their work into businesses – drastically increasing their incomes.

Climate change is happening now, and people like Athuman are on the front line. They want to regenerate their land – and protect the earth for generations to come. And they need to be able to feed their families and earn a decent income right now.

We’re inviting you to donate to The Regenerators Appeal before 7 June 2021 – and if you do, the UK government will double your gift to help the most vulnerable stand strong in the face of climate change.

Donate now – and double your gift

Your donations will support the Regenerators in vulnerable communities in Tanzania, Kenya, Senegal and Bangladesh to fight back against the devastating impact of climate change. The UK government’s matched funding will fund a new project working with Regenerators in Tanzania.


Athuman portrait – credit Traidcarft Exchange/Michael Goima

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