In 2007, a group of like-minded people at the Manta Resort came together to build a tourism project. In all of us coming together to build this long-term vision, we quickly realised that it wasn’t just about Manta. We were interested in Pemba and its’ future. When we started asking why we had come to Pemba, we realised that we’re here for certain reasons; it’s still a truly tropical island, it’s remote, the culture is intact, the environment is not past the tipping point and there’s real hope, chance and opportunity to keep Pemba a genuinely natural place.
What makes us different is that we are consciously, continuously, asking the question ‘why’ – Kwanini? From these beginnings, the Kwanini Foundation was born. We are focussed primarily on Pemba, and what the island needs to continue to thrive as a natural, cultural island paradise. Other strong points of the Kwanini approach are knowledge, empowerment and involvement. Transferring knowledge through our education and community development projects to give the youth of Pemba an opportunity to reconnect with nature and their environment. Empowering the people of Pemba to be part of the decision-making process through taking part in our Public-Private-Community-Partnership approaches to managing natural resources and involving as many people as possible in our activities is a very big part of the Kwanini philosophy. Enabling the people to do what they need to do, to create a bright future for themselves by providing them with necessary support tools and the knowledge to use them.
In the last ten years we have completed several projects alongside the community. Some have been exceptional successes, like the establishment of our Kwanini Marine Protected Area some five years ago, others have been more of a process, like our water project on nearby Njao island. We have learned a great deal in the past ten years, from both our successes and failures, and have been joined by a team of dedicated local and international experts who have voluntarily given their time to help re-launch the Foundation in 2018 as the organisation you see today.
In the future, we envisage the Kwanini Foundation with a large support base, all sharing the knowledge necessary to develop a sustainable future for Pemba and working to conserve the island as a real, sustainable destination.
If you believe in the future of Pemba, please join us, and make a contribution on kwaninifoundation.org
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Kwanini foundation is an initiative to make a positive contribution to the future of Pemba Island by working alongside the local communities to help them understand and conserve the natural world on which they depend.