More than 58,000 volunteers across 30 countries, including Tanzania, participated in the third Global Ismaili CIVIC Day between September and October 2023. This global initiative, steeped in centuries-old traditions, saw collaboration with prominent organizations such as the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Prince’s Trust, City of Houston, Natural History Museum (UK), Emirates Marine Environmental Group, American Red Cross, Indian Red Cross, Green Savers, and River Clean-up.
The Ismaili CIVIC initiative, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Foundation’s GROW initiative for climate resilience, reached new heights in Tanzania. Over 200 volunteers in Dar es Salaam joined AKF staff for the “Go Green Festival” on October 8th. Under the theme of “Go Green,” participants engaged in various activities to foster a sustainable and eco-friendly community.
The highlights of the day included the expansion of the Upanga Jamatkhana micro-forest to over 200 saplings, complementing the initial 100 saplings planted in February 2023. A home gardening workshop empowered community members to cultivate their vegetables for residential and urban settings. Additionally, participants adopted 200 saplings to nurture at home, committing to become climate change champions by reducing plastic use, embracing reusable items, and practicing efficient use of resources like tap water and electricity.
In various regions of Tanzania, including Morogoro, Dodoma, Mwanza, and Tabora, community members collectively pledged to plant 1,100 mangrove saplings, contributing to ongoing carbon sequestration efforts. Since the inception of the Global Ismaili CIVIC Day in 2021, the impact has been significant, spanning health, education, economic development, and environmental protection. Globally, volunteers from 33 countries, including Tanzania, have donated over 455,000 hours of service, resulting in the planting of over three million trees and the removal of approximately 163 thousand kilograms of waste from parks, rivers, beaches, and cities. The initiative has also organized over 100 blood drives.
A focal point of the initiative has been the establishment of micro-forests, unique ecosystems with the ability to sequester substantial amounts of carbon, ultimately contributing to the protection of our planet. In Tanzania, Ismaili CIVIC has facilitated the planting of four micro-forests since 2021. Recently, this collaboration has expanded to Kenya and Uganda, where micro-forests and tree plantings have been initiated in Nairobi and Kampala.
The Global Ismaili CIVIC Day 2023 not only showcased the dedication of Ismaili Muslim volunteers but also exemplified the power of global collaboration in addressing environmental challenges. As the Ismaili CIVIC and Aga Khan Foundation partnership extends its reach, the impact on climate resilience and environmental sustainability continues to grow, fostering a positive change that transcends borders and communities.