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“Mupo, or the universe, is the oxygen, if we cut down the trees we cant breathe the fresh air. Even the grasses can die, and our animals can not find where they can graze. If we cut down the trees, even we are going to die. Mupo is our life” – Vha Venda, elder farmer from Tshidzivhe
The Mupo Foundation work to preserve and revive cultural diversity in South Africa. Based in Thohoyandou in the Limpopo region, the organisation works to strengthen local communities in ecological governance by reviving indigenous seed, facilitating and encouraging intergenerational learning, and rebuilding confidence in the value of indigenous knowledge systems. The protection of sacred sites plays a vital role in indigenous living and hence it is core to the work of the Mupo Foundation.
The organisation was founded in 2007 by Mphatheleni Makaulule in response to concerns she heard through discussions with elders about how they can bring about necessary cultural and ecological revival. She was driven by her own concern that cultural values are being eroded and indigenous forests are facing mass destruction, which is causing discernable disorder within Mupo.
The Mupo Foundation is now internationally and nationally recognised, it is affiliated with the Gaia Foundation, influenced by the vision of the African Biodiversity Network and GRAIN has had a large input into the seed programme. They also join forces with other organisations with similar interests in the local region, for example the organisation ‘Mudzi’.
O U R M I S S I O N
Our mission is for all people in South Africa to be proud of their cultural heritage, to experience religious freedom and food sovereignty, and to protect and restore the critical ecosystems of their territory in the way that the ancestors were doing long ago.
O U R F U N D E R S
We are supported by:
Artists Project Earth (APE) “APE aims to create a better world by bringing the power of music and the arts to 21st Century challenges. It supports effective projects and awareness raising initiatives to combat climate change, and raise funds for natural disaster relief.” www.apeuk.org <http://www.apeuk.org>
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) “Our mission is to build a fairer, more sustainable world, using evidence, action and influence in partnership with others.” www.iied.org
The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) “We support women’s right to be treated as an equal within African society.” www.awdf.org