top of page
  • Writer's picturebird story agency

VIDEO: Healing wounds at the Tongogara Refugee Camp, one tree at a time.


STORY NAME: HEALING WOUNDS AT THE TONGOGARA REFUGEE CAMP, ONE TREE AT A TIME.

LOCATION: TONGOGARA, ZIMBABWE

DATE SHOT: 06/12/2022

SOUND: NATURAL SOUND WITH ENGLISH SPEECH

DURATION: 03:19

SOURCE: BIRD STORY AGENCY

RESTRICTIONS: NONE

ASPECT RATIO: 16.9

ORIGINAL FRAME RATE: 24 fps (progressive).




SHOTLIST

1. VARIOUS OF BERNARD CULTIVATING THE FARM

2. VARIOUS ACTIVITIES AT TONGOGARA REFUGEE CAMP


3. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BERNARD MUTANGANA, RWANDAN REFUGEE, SAYING:

“I have been here for so long since 2000 now, and it’s like my home, and I just started thinking of how we can make it a better place to live, and that is why I came up with the idea because even when I was younger, I was thinking of how I have to do good things for the society.


4. VARIOUS OF TONGOGARA REFUGEE CAMP

5. BERNARD WEEDING AND WATERING THE TREES


6. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BERNARD MUTANGANA, RWANDAN REFUGEE, SAYING:

“We plant the tree and while it’s growing we make sure that we put our vegetables, beans because we also have the objective of fighting against poverty.”


5. BERNARD AND OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS CULTIVATING THE LAND AT THE CAMP

6. AERIAL VIEW OF THE TONGOGARA REFUGEE CAMP

7. PEOPLE PUMPING WATER FROM THE BOREHOLE

8. BERNARD AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS PUSHING WATER DRUMS

9. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BERNARD MUTANGANA, RWANDAN REFUGEE, SAYING:

“My parents died when I was 13. I have the opportunity of healing my wounds, and so I chose also to heal the planet.”


10. VARIOUS OF SAMSON CLEARING THE FARM

11. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): SAMSON MSAFIRI, DRC REFUGEE, SAYING:

“I am working because if I try to make this place greener and the trees grow, it might help the next generation. It might be a place where there are no more high temperatures.”


12. A GIRL SWEEPING OFF THE DUST

13. EXTREME DUST IN THE FIELD

14. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): BERNARD MUTANGANA, RWANDAN REFUGEE, SAYING:

“When we are talking about climate change in Tongogara, we can feel it live because other places you may find cooler trees but here in Tongogara we can feel it and sometimes it’s also difficult for us to breathe because it’s too hot. Even in our absence in Tongogara, this will show that we were there. This is our presence so planting a tree is like planting a spirit.”


15. THE SUN SETTING.



*******************


These refugees are healing their wounds and the planet's wounds by planting trees in the Tongogara refugee camp. They also have long-term plans to establish a public park.


bird story agency


For 23 years, Bernard Mutangana has called the Tongogara Refugee Camp in Southeastern Zimbabwe home. And now, he hopes to leave a legacy for future generations.


"I have been here for so long since 2000 now, and it’s like my home, and I just started thinking of how we can make it a better place to live," he explained.


Driven by passion and love for the camp that gave him a second chance, Mutangana admits farming and tree planting offers him and other refugees therapy from the pains deep within.


"My parents died when I was 13, I have the opportunity of healing my wounds, at the same time, I choose to use the opportunity to also heal my planet," he said.


Tongogara Refugee camp is home to over 15,000 asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Burundi, Rwanda, and other nationalities.


However, human activities, including deforestation and land overexploitation, have, over the years, had devastating consequences in the Tongogara region leading to climate change.


A group of refugees in the camp, led by Mutangana, have therefore made it their mission to plant trees and care for them until they are fully grown.


"Some people were not educated, beyond planting trees and caring for them we have to strategise on how to protect the trees so that they are not cut down or destroyed before it grows. Some people do cut the trees and use them for firewood due to ignorance," explained Mutangana.


Besides planting trees, many of which have now grown to provide numerous sheds in the refugee camp, the group also cultivates crops and vegetables at the feet of trees for food.


"We harvested about 200kgs of beans in the last harvest…we also tried to plant pawpaw. We will blend trees with pawpaw next time," Mutangana noted.


Samson Msafiri, a refugee from the DRC, explains that their goal is to positively impact the next generation that will be hosted in the camp long after they will have left.


“I am working because if I try to make this place greener and the trees grow, it might help the next generation. It might be a place where there are no more high temperatures,” he said.

The group planted more than 1800 trees in 2021. In 2022 they did not plant any new trees but focused on nurturing those from the previous year. However, they already have seeds to plant 3000 new trees in 2023.


The refugees have big plans for the camp. These include a long-term plan to establish a park fully equipped with a swimming pool, a restaurant and a library on one end of the park.


Over time, the group also plans to increase the number of trees and protect them to maturity to help act as classrooms for hundreds of children in the camp who have to endure long hours in the sun as they trek to and from school.


For Mutangana, the tree planting initiative is also a legacy gift for future generations.

"Even in our absence in Tongogara, this will show that we were there. This is our presence. So planting a tree is like planting a spirit," he concluded.


bird story agency


<script src="https://bird.africanofilter.org/hits/counter.js" id="bird-counter" data-counter="https://bird.africanofilter.org/hits/story?id=868&slug=video-refugees-revitalize-the-environment-to-heal-themselves-and-planet" type="text/javascript" async="async"></script>



Comments


bottom of page