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Headquartered in Zanzibar, Tanzania and with offices on both Pemba Island and Unguja Island, the Community Forests Pemba team manages operations across the Zanzibar archipelago, and has expertise spanning forestry, agriculture, women’s economic empowerment, and social enterprise development.
Mbarouk is founder of Community Forests Pemba (CFP) and the driving force behind the organization’s growing accomplishments. He has gained international recognition for leadership over innovative forest restoration, climate change resilience, and poverty reduction missions empowering over 50 thousand people across his home island of Pemba, Zanzibar to date. Mbarouk is above all else a people mobilizer and when he’s not in meetings he’s on the ground organizing communities and working side by side with field officers to make change happen.
Maryam keeps it all on track, and has been with the Community Forests Pemba team from the very beginning. She fields questions from the public, keeps information flowing between management and project teams, and works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that everyone else can just focus on doing what they do best. In a recent project sprint Maryam supported material procurement and logistics for the construction of a climate-smart school, two community scale rainwater harvesting systems, and a solar energy hub – to name a few.
Ali is Zanzibar’s foremost experts in agroforestry and before bringing his wealth of knowledge and experience to Community Forests Pemba had worked for 29 years in various high level posts including Head of the Department of Agriculture in Pemba. He is a trusted advisor to thousands of farmers and recently helped design and establish more than 115 hectares of innovative “spice forests” blending cutting edge agroforestry methods with Zanzibar’s longstanding spice growing traditions. Ali is the most modest and dedicated team player, and everyone knows that when things get tough they can count on him to step in and lend an expert hand.
Omar is dedicated to assisting Pemban entrepreneurs create and grow local businesses that empower their communities and restore their environment. He is also an empathetic diplomat with an ability to understand the views and considerations of diverse people, and help to bridge the gap between different perspectives. Omar has helped establish dozens of community-based savings groups and is currently overseeing delivery of Community Forests Pemba’s gender-responsive enterprise curriculum as well as mentoring the newly established Pemba Spice Producers Cooperative (PROSPER), a farmer-owned apex business with over two hundred members and growing.
Sada joined the Community Forests team in 2020, and has helped reach hundreds of farmers to transform their lands from subsistence into climate-smart agribusinesses! With a focus specifically on youth and women, Sada hopes to encourage more young farmers to use technology like disease identification apps to improve their farming practices and increase their productivity. What else does she want to achieve? "I want to make farming fun!"
Rehema is driven learner, able to study and master technical problems and then transfer this valuable knowledge to others. She is one of Community Forest Pemba’s most loyal team members and will work rain or shine to get the job done. Rehema has helped develop new cooking stove technology appropriate to Pemba and her students have already converted 1,738 households to fuel-efficient stoves to date. This year Rehema is piloting several charcoal alternatives and improved charcoal productions systems to reduce pressures on Zanzibar’s threatened mangrove forests.
Naushat excels at process and planning, and brings her invaluable attention to detail to ensuring Community Forests Pemba’s resource engine remains on budget and in top health. She is also a deep thinker who is constantly finding ways to improve the organization’s work culture so that the whole team becomes stronger. Naushat recently oversaw financial tracking and reporting on a complex, multi-year climate action project and impressed KPMG auditors with a minor 0.18% final spending variance.
A perceptive and experienced manager, Ali Abdullah is able to understand and analyze complex challenges and to communicate important information in a way that anyone can understand. Always looking to the final outcome, Ali is focused but flexible, and goes above and beyond his role to bring trusted advice and perspective to his colleagues.
With a wealth of experiencing working with organisations such as Slow Food Kenya and the Jane Goodall Institute Tanzania, Hazieli joined the Community Forests team in 2022. First as the Permaculture Kitchen Garden Officer and today as Spice Officer, he works to promote resilient agriculture, improving farmers' wellbeing and capacity to reach the growing market for Zanzibar spices. Hazieli comes with a deep love of farming, and works to ensure farmers see long-term improvement and impact for their families and community.
Waleed joined the Community Forests team in 2020, and has supported the team in everything from data collection processes to management. Waleed is excited to continue supporting the team and all the communities across both Pemba and Unguja!
Ernest is a horticulturalist with more than 12 years of experience working with small and large scale farmers in the vegetable horticulture subsector. Ernest is responsible for educating vegetable growers in the VIUNGO project. Ernest is inspired daily by his wife and their three sons and daughter. In his free time, he likes to cook, crochet and prepare the family garden with his daughter.
As one of the Agroforestry Officers on the team, Elizabeth works to ensure that small scale farmers adopt climate smart agriculture by transforming their land into diverse agroforests–growing spice, fruit, and more. She is most excited to help establish additional agroforestry demonstration farms for use in the Farmer Field School program. Outside of work, Elizabeth loves reading books, cooking and spending quality time with friends and family.
Rhoda joins the team to work directly with women and women’s groups in the field, providing technical permaculture and agriculture training through the growth and development of the Kitchen Garden program. A horticulturalist by profession, Rhoda sees this opportunity as a direct way to increase awareness on the positive impacts for sustainability, nutrition, and economic opportunity from having a simple home garden at the household level. When not working in the field, Rhoda likes to relax by the beach and to cook – though she hates washing up after!
Zulphur joins the team to expand the business and enterprise opportunities available for program participants. She is inspired by the connection between economic and environmental resilience, and is excited to continue the growth of sustainable horticulture as a business and income boosting tool for communities across Zanzibar. Zulpher’s hobbies include going for evening jogs or weekend swims, as well as watching environmental documentaries for more inspiration!
Never in a rush, and always on time. Shabaan bring a calm steadiness to an often hectic workflow. Shabaan helps keep the vehicles running smooth with his knowledge of mechanics and his attention to detail. A trusted part of the team, Shabaan works to transport our team safely to all corners of Pemba Island and back.
Always ready to go, Ali works night and day to transporting our team safely to all corners of Pemba Island and back. A trusted and reliable team member, Ali is always ready to take on special technical tasks to help keep everything running smoothly, whether it’s rewiring solar lamps or fixing cell phones.