“When I was a child, I wanted to be an astronaut, an archeologist or a superhero…
I choosed to become a superhero, a changemaker of 21st !”
I’m Sarah Toumi, a 24 years old tunisian changemaker !
From the age of 9, I discovered in my father’s village GENDER INEQUALITY and DESERTIFICATION. Travelling all over the world, I discovered INJUSTICE and ECOLOGICAL DISASTERS. My father told me the story of a Sudanese farmer planting Acacias trees to get water and financial incomes because Acacia has a very developped roots system that can go 100m underground to find water, and it produces the arabic gum, a natural emulsifier.
I thought it was this kind of projects we needed to solve our problems in my village ! So I decided to launch my project : Acacias for all, a project of planting acacias trees and offering the opportunity for people and entreprises to sponsor trees to reduce their ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT, but also offering tunisian women farmers the opportunity to get financial incomes selling the arabic gum produced to the fair-trade industry.
My main challenge is now finding money to start the project. To support my project, you can make a donation, but you can also help me spread the word to find more donators. Become an Acacia friend, join me ! Thank you !
The idea was born in 2003 but the project started in 2008, when Ashoka gave an award to Sarah Toumi, the founder, for its idea. Because of political situation in Tunisia, we were stopped in our progress so we decided to wait to launch it, until the situation is better. But, we continued talking about this projects to women we are working with in rural areas in Tunisia. In 2011, when revolution happened in Tunisia, everything changed ! We now get support from the administration and about 500 women wanting to participate.
…but a promising future !
During the summer 2012, we are going to create the seeds nursery on a 3 hectars field in Bir Salah, Sfax, Tunisia. 2500 trees will be planted in a safe environment, so they grow well and after 2 years, we will transfer trees in the gardens of women who signed a contract with us to get trees to fight against desertification in their village and a training on how to collect the arabic gum to sell it inside the cooperative “DREAMin Tunisia” to fairtrade industries.
How does it work exactly?
1. The seeds nursery in Bir Salah (Sfax) : created during summer 2012 thanks to donations , this field can welcome 10 000 trees every year and after two years growth, employes will plant trees to create a green belt to fight the desert, thanks to the women offering us a part of their fields for free.
Composed of a well, greenhouses, and a local for material, there will be 2 persons (engineer and employe) working in it during the first 2 years. Then, we are planning to employ 15 persons all year long : 1 director, 1 engineers, 6 employees, 3 commercials, 1 community manager, 1 communication manager, 1 accounter, 1 webmanager.
2. The online website : to make people aware about our project, we will create an online website for :
- people wanting to sponsoring trees
- volunteers wanting to plant trees or help the project : you can send us an email @ sarah.toumi(@)dream-asso.org
- women wanting to join us or member of our cooperative DREAMin Tunisie : you will find all the informations and the form to fill out to join us on this website. As we know it is difficult for a lot of them to access this website, we organize informations sessions in the regions with paper files.
3. The cooperative DREAMin Tunisie : this cooperative is another part of the project. It gathers all the tunisian women farmers participating to the project. Every year, they collect the arabic gum of their trees and sell it inside the cooperative. The cooperative will be employing 2 commercials, a community manager and an accounter to sell abroad the production to fairtrade industries of food or cosmetics.
In the future, this cooperative will also develop :
- new markets and sell handcraft and biological and fairtrade tunisian products.
- a social fund, taken on benefits, to create educational and cultural activities in the villages, but also to give micro-loans for free for women participating to the program.
Project location: Sfax, Tunisia