Friday Feature: Nuru Nguya, TFCG Community Development Coordinator

Every Friday we will feature someone involved with ARC - Board members, Junior Board members, TFCG staff on the ground in Tanzania, partners, and our volunteers and interns. We hope that this feature will help you to get to know the many faces behind ARC and connect with our mission on a deeper level. This week we are featuring TFCG Community Development Coordinator, Nuru Nguya.

Nuru Nguya was born in Tanzania's Mvomero District of Morogoro region. She is the fifth of seven children. Her mother is a nurse midwife and her father is a retired mechanical engineer who currently farms. Nuru received her Bachelor's of Science in Home Economics and Human Nutrition from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and her Master's of Arts in Rural Development from the same university. In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball and cooking different varieties of food. Prior to joining TFCG's staff one-and-half years ago, Nuru was working with the NGO Mpingo Conservation Project in the Kilwa District within Lindi region.  The project focused on sustainable forest conservation, with a particular focus on Mpingo species (Dalbergia melanoxylon).

What project are you currently working on? Any milestone or accomplishments to share?
I am currently working with the REDD (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation) project in 33 villages in Lindi and Kilosa District. We recently launched a fire awareness campaign, so that communities can better prevent forest fires; this campaign was achieved through a mobile cinema that traveled to all 33 villages. We have also introduced energy efficient stoves in 12 of the villages. We have provided training in environmental education to primary school teachers so that they can incorporate the subject of the environment into the school curriculum. Lastly, we are supporting and implementing Participatory Forest Management (PFM) and village land use planning in 13 of the villages.
What do feel is the biggest challenge facing Tanzania’s forests?

I think that the biggest challenge facing Tanzania’s forests is illegal timber harvesting.

What do you enjoy most about working with TFCG?
The thing that I enjoy the most about working with TFCG is that we are working directly at the grassroots level, i.e. ensuring community livelihoods are improved while conserving the forest, which is under my field of professional.
How has your work with TFCG inspired you or changed your life?
My work with TFCG inspires me a lot due to the fact that the work has increased my professional capacity in working with rural communities, but also the work enables me to meet with different people with different experiences and exchange ideas.

Do you have a favorite animal or plant found in the forest?
My favorite animal in forest is an endangered animal called the Rondo Dwarf Galago (Galagoides rondoensis), which is the world's smallest galago and inhabits less than 100 square km of fragmented forest in Tanzania's Coastal Forests.

What is one thing you want people not from Tanzania to know about your country?

Tanzania is among the most beautiful countries in Africa and is rich in natural forest resources and biodiversity.