The protection of our planet is of crucial importance for the future of humanity. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals remind us of this (see https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/), as does Pope Francis, who urges us to take care of our “Common Home” for the benefit of future generations. In this context, AIC wishes to encourage actions that promote sustainable development within our network. The Dominique Prize for Sustainable Development is therefore awarded by AIC, every two years, to creative initiatives in which AIC volunteers integrate into their actions to tackle poverty a specific element dedicated to protecting the planet.
In response to the call for projects for the Dominique Prize 2022, we were happy to receive 18 projects, of which 13 were from Africa, 4 from Latin America and 1 from Europe. After having read everything carefully and with great interest, the members of the selection committee decided to award the prize to the following projects:
CAMEROON, Nnom Nnam/Yaoundé: “Creation of a community orchard for the parishioners of the Saint Augustin Catholic Church of Oyom-Abang-Camp SONEL”
The project aims to create a 3-hectare community orchard in the Nnom Nnam parish of Oyom-Abang in Yaoundé. The first stage consists in germinating quality avocado and plum pits and producing young avocado and plum seedlings in three months. These seedlings will then be replanted in an orchard where they can grow and produce fruit after 3-4 years. The orchard, divided into plots, will be maintained by AIC volunteers and parishioners with the help of agricultural technicians. In the long term, the income from the sale of fruit and fruit tree plants will help improve the living conditions of the local population (elderly people, disabled people, and orphans) of the Nnom Nnam parish in Oyom-Abang.
PERU, Rioja/Naranjos: “Organic vegetable gardens, a gesture to care for the Common Home”
The aim of the project is to improve the health of the population of Naranjos, which suffers from anaemia and chronic malnutrition, by means of a high-quality local and organic diet. To achieve this, the volunteers want to create, with the help of the population, a 240m2 organic vegetable garden, with the aim of distributing baskets of vegetables. Awareness-raising activities on the use of organic vegetables and the link between healthy nutrition and health will be organised. There will also be training in organic farming and participation in organic produce fairs. The volunteers will work in partnership with the health centre, the municipality and the parish. Eventually, the volunteers want to create an open learning centre to enable everyone to create an organic garden at home.
We have shared below three other projects that also caught the attention of the jury:
ARGENTINA, Bahia Blanca: “Ecobikes” – The aim of the project is to promote low-carbon and economical mobility to overcome the lack of efficient public transport. The project consists in providing 20 young people with the tools and training to transform a conventional bicycle into an electric one and, in doing so, reduce school and university drop-out rates, improve beneficiaries’ physical condition and protect the environment. Extensive networking is planned, including with the university and the municipality.
MEXICO CITY, Tuxpan: “Let’s take care of our Common Home” – This project is an eco-campaign to raise awareness about environmental protection and encourage the implementation of several practical actions to take care of our Common Home. Aimed at changing attitudes, there are four different challenges: planting trees, managing water use, living without plastic and keeping the environment clean. The volunteers work closely with many local stakeholders, including the municipality, schools, training centres and businesses.
NIGERIA, Godoji – Abuja: “Alternative agriculture as a response to violence” – This project will support 20 women farmers who are victims of constant attacks that force them to leave their land. The volunteers want to train these women in alternative soil-less agriculture by planting crops in used canvas bags filled with sand, manure and fertiliser, so that they can produce vegetables and become financially independent and able to provide for their families.
Whether it is through organic and local agriculture that respects the environment, green mobility that reduces our carbon footprint, or awareness-raising actions, we hope that these different initiatives will inspire you to promote sustainable development and preserve our planet for the sake of future generations.