The Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP)
FACRP is a community based non-governmental organisation which began in 1982 when the late Tacuma Jaramogi and his wife Akilah Jaramogi, commenced work to protect the environment against man-made threats of forest fires. This organisation began as a movement of community members, working together to eradicate the annual threat of forest fires within the Fondes Amandes watershed.
As the organisation grew and evolved, the FACRP team addressed more environmental challenges facing their community and across Trinidad and Tobago. To date, some activities being undertaken include; reforestation, forest fire prevention, forest fire suppression, organic seedling propagation, implementation of surface water management systems, national environmental education and awareness programmes, climate change adaptation and resilience research, facilitating regional and international student exchange programmes and implementing eco-system services as FACRP works towards becoming a sustainable NGO and Social Enterprise.
FACRP has grown over the years to become one of the most resilient, innovative and successful eco-projects in the Caribbean and is widely recognised as a model of sustainable community development in the region.
Tacuma Jaramogi - Co Founder/Director
Born in St. Ann's, Tacuma Jaramogi was a remarkable man who was the main driver of the reforestation and forest fire prevention initiatives in Fondes Amandes hills and co-founded FACRP in 1982 together with his wife Akilah Jaramogi and his Rastafarian Brothers. He was quite passionate about the preservation of the natural environment and saw the land as sacred to the faith he believed in.
Despite several difficulties Tacuma Jaramogi was highly active within the Environmental Conservation Community. He also participated in several local and regional initiatives, forums and training sessions which included: The International Development Bank (IDB) Reforestation Project from 1991-1992, the United National Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) certification programme in nursery management in 1991. He also worked at the Forestry Division in Trinidad and Tobago until his passing.
Tacuma was dedicated to his community and family. Along with hard work, good ethics made him an ideal role model to the young men in the community. He was a man of peace, spirituality and dignity. We will forever be grateful for his inspirational leadership, Tacuma Jaramogi, October 1954 - March 1994. To commemorate his legacy, FACRP annually hosts a 3 day Gayap event whereby volunteers come to FACRP to help prepare for the fire season, as well as learn about best practices during the dry season. This event has been growing every year since 1996 and has seen thousands of volunteers at FACRP supporting a great cause.
Akilah Jaramogi - Co-Founder/Executive Director
After the passing of her late husband Tacuma Jaramogi, Akilah Jaramogi assumed the role of Managing Director at FACRP. Akilah followed in our late co-founder's footsteps by engaging in new forest conservation and rehabilitation methods within the Fondes Amandes Community to curb the trend of forest fires and to reforest the hillsides imploring methods of agro-forest, permaculture and biodiversity. Additionally, Akilah is a natural jewelry designer and uses plant-based materials to make a line of high fashion jewelry. Her label is called Akilah's Jewelry and she often uses it to promote green business, green lifestyle and green fashion to showcase the synergy between living in harmony with the natural environment as well as creating a sustainable livelihood.
Akilah has worked tireless to share FACRP's model of community forestry over the past 3 decades in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe and most recently the South Pacific region by participating in conferences, workshops, facilitation sessions and training workshops. Through these partnerships many community initiatives were developed to address both social and environmental issues.
Over the years there has been many challenges with funding, national awareness, climate change, etc. however, under Akilah's leadership at FACRP, the NGO has transitioned from a small community initiative to an internationally recognised NGO, offering a wide range of educational programmes, providing employment for community members, most importantly the hills have been converted from a fire climax zone to a thriving agro-forestry and diverse watershed, buzzing with wildlife. FACRP site has also been fire free since 1997 and since has shared our best practices with similar communities.
Akilah has received several awards over the years for her work in environmental conservation, community forestry initiates and culture as it relates to environmental conservation. Some of these awards are: Women as Agents of Change Awards by the NGO network for the Empowerment of Women - Friends of the Commonwealth Awards 21st March 2010, 2007 15th Caribbean Gift and Craft Show, Best of Show Awards and 2004 Best Handcrafted Product, Runner up, 2000 Rotary Club Tidy T&T competition award (Nature Conservation and Best Overall Categories).
Kemba Jaramogi - Technical Director
Kemba Nefertiti Jaramogi is an environmentalist who focuses on transforming lives through environmental educational programmes. She designs programmes to suit all age groups from preschool students to university students, community groups and other concerned individuals. Since age 9 Kemba has been involved in conservation work, 20 years later she serves as the Technical Director of the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project where she develops projects, teaches environmental best practices, participates in national forums and partners with like-minded NGOs for a greater T&T. She is also an ecological jewelry designer at Akilah’s Jewelry. In 2005 Kemba severed as a local youth ambassador representing T&T in the SIDs conference in Mauritius.
In 2011 Kemba graduated with Honours from the University of East London, England with a BA in International Development; Third world studies with NGO Management. Kemba’s contribution to T&T has not gone unnoticed, in Trinidad and Tobago for the 3rd National ISESE Day – she was awarded the Isese Legba award for community service and Advocacy, in August 2014 she was the proud recipient of the National Youth Awards and Winner in the Environment Category, Ministry Child, Gender and Youth Development. In 2003 she became the proud recipient of the Top 20 Stars of Tomorrow awards; Winner in Environment Category, by National Action Youth Committee (NYAC).
Kemba remains a powerhouse, a young leader in the field of environmental conservation and a proud member of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community. She has developed educational plans to engage students in practical environmental education. She continues to do outreach work in communities, training community members on the importance in being custodians of their local environment as well as presenting models for green entrepreneurial opportunities. Through strategic partnership Kemba hopes to see great collaborations for a greener region, natural resource conservation, mandatory environmental education in schools and protected green spaces respected and maintained for our future generations.
FACRP welcomes donations. Our account number with First Citizen Bank of Trinidad and Tobago is 1513737 in the Name of the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP)