Mma Mariama - The Dance of Hope!
The image of Mma Mariama, balancing firewood atop her head effortlessly, is etched into the scenery. She hums a tune of the old folklore in the lilting Basari language. "Not all is revealed. Not all should be voiced. Not all can be believed." Her melodies harmonize with the bird songs, interweaving a symphony that ties her to the natural rhythm of life.
While carrying the spirit of the curious Ama, her daughter, she halts upon seeing three young men hard at work. Kwaku, the tribal leader turned city dweller now returned, leads the youths in lashing bamboo sticks together. "We are building a garden fence," they proudly reveal. Mma Mariama offers a knowing smile, perhaps contemplating the determined nature of the village goats against such barriers, yet greets them warmly and exchanges jests before continuing her journey.
Despite the youth's awe of Mma Mariama, Kwaku respectfully bows and is met with a playful smile and a teasing comment that brings out laughter in the boys, leaving Kwaku perplexed. She departs, leaving the aura of her presence lingering behind.
Contrary to misconceptions, African women aren't subservient but essential in transforming a house into a 'home.' The matriarch, or "Mma," is the embodiment of power, embodying warmth, nourishment, and tranquility. The reverence given to Mma Mariama by the youths is a testament to this cultural truth.
Her daily ritual of farm work and collecting firewood intertwines with intermittent interactions with Kwaku and his team. Her occasional gifts of roasted yams are now a pleasant expectation for the quirky tribe.
Several months later, the boys, alongside Kwaku, gather around a campfire, cooking vegetables from their bamboo-enclosed garden. Mma Mariama's late return from the farm interrupts the quiet dusk. They help her unload her burdens, offer a seat, and a bowl of soup without any prompts. The evening transpires with minimal words, but with a palpable sense of community.
Sunday's are for church, but for Kwaku, they are for rest. The unexpected early morning visit from Mma Mariama, her son Kofi, and Ama carrying her baby, bewilders him. That day, Mma Mariama has a proposal. She asks Kwaku to mentor her children, citing his contributions to their community as proof of his competence.
Caught off guard, Kwaku deflects her request with another proposition. He offers Mma Mariama a leadership role in a tree-planting initiative backed by a partner organization, Click A Tree .He assures her that her children will receive training, and this initiative would provide an additional income source for her and help the environment.
Mma Mariama shares stories of their community's past abundance, of the fertile state farms, now barren, forcing them to relocate. This tale sets the stage for the integration of regenerative agriculture and education as potential catalysts to lift rural communities out of extreme poverty.
Regenerative agriculture promotes farming practices that not only "do no harm" to the land but also improve it, creating a vibrant, sustainable ecosystem. It can replenish the soil, increase biodiversity, and create more resilient food systems.
Education is the cornerstone in this process. By teaching these communities about sustainable farming practices, we equip them with the skills necessary to protect and improve their environment. This knowledge extends beyond the field, fostering a deep understanding and appreciation for their surrounding ecology.
These two elements combined can create self-sufficient, thriving rural communities. They'll be able to provide for their families and generate income through sustainable farming. The restored soil fertility would revive the once flourishing state farms, and the abundance of crops would not only sustain their food requirements but also offer surplus for trade and sale, boosting their local economy.
This approach aligns with the traditional African philosophy of Ubuntu, recognizing the interconnectedness of all beings. Embracing regenerative agriculture would cultivate a symbiotic relationship with the land, treating it not merely as a resource to be exploited but as a life-giving entity to be cherished.
Mma Mariama's proposed role in leading the women's group in tree planting is pivotal. Women, being the backbone of African agriculture, when empowered with the right knowledge and resources, can be effective stewards of the land.
The children, like Ama and Kofi, can become ambassadors of this transformation. Through education, they will grasp the core concepts of sustainability, conservation, and eco-responsibility. They can inspire their peers and future generations to respect and protect their environment, contributing to the long-term success of these initiatives.
The training would also expose them to a wide array of opportunities like driving a tractor or using computers for various applications, enhancing their skills and increasing their employability. These competencies would further enable them to adapt to changing scenarios, tackle challenges, and innovate for the well-being of their community.
The narrative of Mma Mariama and her village signifies a new dawn, where rural communities are not merely surviving, but thriving. It echoes the promise of a future where the collective efforts of every Mma, every Kwaku, every Ama, and Kofi can transform the African landscape, uplift lives, and preserve the vibrant harmony between humans and nature.
And as the days pass, Mma Mariama, the spirited matriarch, continues her harmonious dance with life, balancing hopes and dreams atop her head, singing songs of resilience, echoing the rhythm of progress, and embodying the Dance of Hope in her beloved community.
What other ways can we help Mma Mariama?
Dream Village Ghana
Dream Village Ghana
Dream Village Foundation