Introducing Ohana Amani

Our June Nonprofit of the Month

During the month of June, all pledges collected through our Take the Pledge initiative benefited our hand-selected Nonprofit of the Month: Ohana Amani. And, we are excited to share that we reached a record-breaking $525 in pledges for the month of June! Special thanks to everyone who pledged their support this month, we couldn’t do any of this without you.

Ohana Amani farm group

We sat down with the Ohana Amani team this month to learn more about their organization and find out how our June Pledges will support their new water system expansion project. Here’s what they had to say:

Why & How Was Ohana Amani established?

Ohana Amani was officially born in 2009, by sisters Curry and Chevy Anton, and a friend Jose Ramirez, in response to witnessing the immense amount of waste and unconscious destruction of delicate and valuable natural systems, as well as the disconnection of human beings from our landscape, each other, and ourselves. We knew, and believed, that there were alternatives to these patterns, so we sought to discover, develop, and share them as a means of cultivating positive change through Ohana Amani.

The most important thing we knew we could do was to live in more conscious connection, naturally providing an example of how it can be done. With this in mind, and after years of traveling and research, we decided to establish Ohana Amani in Tanzania, a place where we saw the majority of people still living a more genuine and earth-connected life, with strong skills for sustainability, and an openness to share their knowledge and learn new ways.

Ohana Amani farm in Tanzania

Ohana Amani was registered as Tanzania Charitable Trust Fund in 2010. Originally based in the town of Njombe, in the Southern Highland, a couple of years later we moved to the current farm in the village of Uwemba. The farm has grown into a thriving community and experiential learning center, that hosts permanent local and international residents and both short and long term students, groups, and volunteers.

Ohana Amani teaching methods are diverse and creative, including activities like working in the organic garden, cooking and nutrition classes, herbalism and natural medicine making, natural resource management, cross cultural immersion and language courses, and many others.

What makes Ohana Amani unique?

Ohana Amani is a place where cultures merge. A community where local Tanzanians and international participants meet to share their knowledge and experiences, while understanding the importance of listening and acting with intention and cooperation. Our commitment is first to living our values and teachings, to be able to authentically and holistically offer that to others.

What is the biggest challenge you are facing currently?

Access and accessibility. Even tough Tanzania is changing and developing rapidly, it is still difficult to access many resources, goods, and materials, and basic infrastructure is quite poor, especially in the rural areas. This can limit the progress of our projects. Also, it is difficult to find local experts and professionals that can improve the level of knowledge and teaching.

Farm volunteers in Tanzania
Visitors at the tool shed at Ohana Amani

Tell us the basic details about your water system expansion project.

Our goal is to make Ohana Amani as ecologically sound, self sustaining, and regenerating a system as possible. That being said, the use of our natural resources is a point of great focus and consideration. Water supply for the center is one of our main priorities. We have established a basic system for potable water, pumping fresh water from a well, and an initial rain water harvesting system to supply the organic garden and other farm needs. The water system expansion project will include a second well for fresh water and a more extensive rainwater harvesting and storage system that will supply two ponds plus a drip irrigation system for the garden. This will allow us to have water accessible throughout the whole year, in particular during the six month dry season (June to November), which is typical in this part of east Africa.

How many people will it serve in the community?

This can vary depending on the season, but in general, 8 to 10 permanent residents. We have overnight guest capacity for a total of about 25 to 30 people. Also, a regular stream of day visitors come to Ohana Amani.

Volunteers planting seeds in Tanzania
Seed planting activities at Ohana Amani

What will the greatest impact of the water system expansion be?

Primarily, it is to guarantee access to a year round water supply, both for fresh potable water for the center and its inhabitants, as well as providing enough for all the other farm and garden needs. Secondly, it is to create a more sustainable and efficient system for water usage and storage. With the creation of ponds, it will be possible to expand and diversifies our ecosystem, providing aquatic environments for attracting different animal and plant species to the land.

Stay tuned for project updates from Ohana Amani in the coming months! Subscribe to our Newsletter for monthly project updates.

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