MamaEarth’s mission is to promote healthy people on a healthy planet, to reduce the income disparity between rich and poor and to cultivate sustainable practices in the developed and developing world.
Our organization officially opened its doors in 2009, with an ambitious goal that spans work in the field of energy, environment and sustainable living. It’s a wide reach, but if you subscribe to the philosophy that each of us has only one life, we all share one earth and everything is connected, if you realize that our actions have a ripple effect around the globe, and if you acknowledge that talking is futile if it does not lead to action, then you take a holistic view and try to build a pyramid rather than a pole.
We have a new web site reflecting changes that have taken place since 2010. Our logo is a spiral that begins as a drop of water and spirals towards a leaf. The symbolism suggests a continuous spiral upward towards a sustainable and flourishing earth. The reality we face in the world today threatens to be in the opposite direction, which is a spiral towards extinction. Our web site opens with a heart warmingly beautiful picture of our mother earth in the early morning sunrise. It moves on to a community in Alexandra Township, where we have done much of our work and then on to a personal companion planted vegetable garden. The progression from thinking on a global scale, to working with communities and taking action as individuals, is what we do and try to project.
Our organization employs a holistic approach that encompasses advocacy, education and project implementation in the fields of ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE LIVING. We attempt to influence actions and outcomes in these fields towards sustainability, with equal attention to people, planet and profit. The overall objective is a hopeful future and better health.
WHAT DO WE DO?
MamaEarth responds to the world as an ecological system in which everything is connected. Enabling legislation is the first step towards building a sustainable world; education about issues, such as inefficient use of energy, and ways to deal with them is the next step; implementing projects to help people change the way they think and act completes the cycle. Our activities encompass all of these areas.
We organize hearings for Members of Parliament and we hold roundtables to better understand how to navigate the legislative environment around sustainability.
We organize workshops, demonstrations, talks, produce courses, offer training and disseminate information to promote our objectives in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable living. We partner with others to implement projects in recycling, food gardens, rain water harvesting, healthy lifestyles, use of alternative energy, carbon friendly technology, computer literacy and wireless technology. With our help a community in Alex converted a barren piece of land into a flourishing food garden. They ran an After Care program for 200 schoolchildren living in the hostels, received lessons in computer literacy, in solar photo voltaic technology, in healthy cook stoves, in setting up a small business and in eating and planning a healthy diet. They also used a sola cart built by MamaEarth to run a solar powered internet café. Sharing their knowledge they installed a food garden for a senior’s home in the neighborhood.
A school in Alex participated in a one year program in which learner’s form Gr 4 to 7 leant about energy climate change, recycling, happiness, HIV and health. The school was also equipped with a solar water geyser, a rain water tank, recycling bins and a food garden. The same program is available to others and wherever it goes it instills the idea that helping others is a way of helping ourselves. Living in a world of give and take leads us toward a state of balance and health and enables us to thrive in unison, not in small self-serving pockets.
WHY DO WE DO THIS?
We are guardians of our common home, Earth, at a critical time in her history. We face the threats of global meltdown, a global depression and an earth scarred by unsustainable practices. We must both mitigate and adapt to Climate Change.
South Africa is under pressure to increase energy security, to reduce demand on Eskom power, and to respond to 25% unemployment. Our government is also committed to changing our status as the 13th largest carbon polluter in the world.
Electricity prices will continue to increase putting a heavy burden on ratepayers and industries. An ideal solution would be to reduce dependence on Eskom and provide as much distributed electricity generation as possible, utilizing cogeneration and alternate energy sources. Our water systems are threatened and communities are struggling with changing and erratic climates. Food security is a major problem, fueled by the high cost of living and unhealthy lifestyles among the majority of people.
The public has not demonstrated significant behavior change in response to Climate Change. Conspiracy theories abound confusing the issue. Whether or not human behavior is responsible for global warming, sustainable living is not an option. It is essential. To this end we will work to change behavior towards environmental health and sustainability with all the means at our disposal.
Even without the threat of Climate Change and its consequences to water supply, food security and health, we have allowed industrialization to turn animals into food machines The result is not only barbaric and inhumane treatment of animals that are squeezed into coops and cages, sprayed with antibiotics and subjected to a barrage of protective chemicals, it also results in our food being both expensive and unhealthy. Whether it be GMO’s, farmed fish filled with PCBs and mercury, spray drenched fruit polished like the witch’s apple in Snow White or labels that deliberately mislead about the amount of harmful products they contain (such as 0% trans fats which can still be made entirely out of trans fats.) we want to provide information to the public so that through their knowledge and choices people can strongly influence the markets to become humane and healthy. Whether it is about human food or animal food we will unearth every form of cheating for the sake of marketing that we can uncover.
The concept of reduce reuse and recycle is now well established as a means of responding in some measure to the state of the earth. Hence MamaEarth implements a recycling project with an NGO in Alex. We also implement them at schools. But recycling alone is not enough and we strongly advocate a national policy that deals with waste constructively by turning it into energy. The technology is available but still not utilized in SA. Although energy efficiency is high on the agenda and cfl globes liberally distributed, there is no clear plan to deal with the waste of broken globes and this an area in which MamaEarth is focusing attention. E waste which is hugely profitable and important, also receives little attention in our country.
Going solar is not only economical, it is also great fun. Having a sustainable lifestyle is equally so. As part of our mission we teach people how to build and install solar power so that they can run home entertainment without grid electricity, or an internet cafe and how they can use IT, wireless and solar technology to create jobs, empower womenfolk, educate kids or back up power when Eskom has an outage.
Based on Working with Wonder which is teacher’s handbook in the natural sciences, we run courses for schoolchildren and teachers to help them comprehend the way the world works and to do so in a way that makes learning fun, experiential and creative.
In order that MamaEarth can achieve its goals, we need a dialogue with the public. Therefore we invite anyone with a desire to do rather than to talk, to send us information on which we can base questions to parliament, or facts and data that can be verified and merit exposure. Solutions are also welcome hence our web site invites comments and questions.
For a better look at all MamaEarth’s programs we invite you to look at our web site which is www.mamaearth.org.za to e mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to send us your inputs via facebook or our web site.
MamaEarth Foundation is a registered NGO ( 063-099 NPO) with SARS Sections 18A and Section 56(1) (h) rating and B-BEE status 4 classification.