| Forestry training manual for the Africa region |
|Training program overview|
We were fortunate to have been able to use the University of Arizona Conference Center, Oracle, Arizona for the State-side Training. This location was chosen over many potential sites because the desert conditions closely match the arid region of the Sahel in Senegal and the Eastern Region of Kenya. Other considerations taken into account include the presence of the followings
1. Land for establishing a nursery,
2. Availability of water,
3. Availability of materials which could be used by the participants such as old fence posts, chicken wire, old lumber, a chicken coop, etc.,
4. Land to plant a vegetable garden,
5. Other land areas for planting,
7. Housing and meals,
8. Resource availability for research projects that could be set up by the trainees,
9. Remote area with few distractions,
10. Recreational facilities, e.g., basketball court, swimming pool, pool table, ping pong, etc.,
11. Neighboring small community where the trainees could interview residents as part of agro-forestry planning,
12. Site where ecological problems are evident,
13. Site where erosion prevention could be practiced,
14. Proximity to the University of Arizona so that resources of the University could be utilized.
In choosing the training site, it is important to remember that the focus of the training program is participant learning. The trainees should not have to cope with a physical environment that needs a great deal of managing during the training cycle. A certain amount of privacy and a living and recreation area where the trainees can get away is desirable. We also found that the trainees needed to adjust to the climate in the Tucson area. We had them turn off air-conditioners in their sleeping quarters after two weeks, but continued to use air-conditioners in the classrooms. All of these considerations are important when determining a new training site.
The University of Arizona also issued a certificate, complete with seal, to each trainee stating that he/she had completed an intensive agro-forestry course. We felt that it would be beneficial for the participants to be able to exhibit their certificates at their work sites as it might enhance their credibility and acceptance as professionals by their community.