Nicola is the founder of our partner organisation Tsiryparma, in Madagascar.
He has an eventful history behind him. In 2012, he founded the NGO Tsiryparma in Parma. "Tsiry" means "offspring" in the language of the local people in Madagascar. We have been working with Tsiryparma since 2017.
In this interview, Nicola tells us about the eventful history of his NGO and their goals for the future.
Hey Nicola, can you introduce yourself to us?
Hello! I am Nicola Gandolfi, I am 46 years old and I come from Parma. I have been living in Madagascar since 2006, after volunteering here from 2000 to 2002. My wife and two children also live here. I have two degrees, one in natural sciences and one in forestry. In 2012, I founded the Tsiryparma Association in Parma. How was Tsiryparma born? What is the mission?
I created Tsiryparma to give continuity to the activities I carried out during my time as a volunteer with the NGO Reggio Third World. In 2006, I conducted my first studies in the forest of Vohidahy, near Ambositra. Many areas had been cleared. Since then, it has been a constant up and down between fundraising, managing the tree nurseries and supporting the local communities. We want to protect and preserve the forest. In 2012, I could no longer continue my work at Third World - I had to find a way to move on.
The idea for Tsiryparma was born. An association that could be both a mouthpiece and executive body for all that we have built up here. 9 years later, this idea has become a vigorous plant that continues to grow. Our goal is to stop the destruction of the forest in Madagascar. At the same time, we also focus on the social and economic development of the region, for the benefit of the people who live in these forests.What is the goal for 2021?
First and foremost, we want to plant 80,000 trees in 2021 - with Treedom's support. But besides that, there are a whole range of other projects: We want to repair the road leading to the town of Vohidahy. We are working on building a new hospital and we want to repair the water system, which is vital for the whole region.
It feels like we are constantly driving at 100 kilometres per hour... but the local people here have decided to make this journey together with us. This motivates us in our work! The people here show such enthusiasm and at the same time a satisfaction with what they have.
What are the biggest challenges?
Honestly, after 20 years of working in this area in Madagascar, I hardly see any obstacles that can hinder our work. We have carved our own path to achieve our goals. One challenge is to transfer this model to other areas. We want to save as many forests as possible on this wonderful island. This is only possible with the help of Treedom, and all the people who care about the forest and the preservation of creation.
What do you think about the cooperation with Treedom?
Without Treedom, it would not have been possible for the Tsiryparma family to expand so much. We currently have 28 nurseries here and employ many people full time. Treedom allows us to be more planned in our planting. We think: every plant is an act of love for our land and planet. We all want to live in a better, greener and less oppressive world for all of us. For that, we are very grateful to Treedom. "Lets Green The Planet", for us that means not only wishing for a green planet, but also a planet where people live together in peace and harmony.
Do you have a message for the Treedom community?
Yes, I do. Seeing a forest grow where there was previously a barren and uncultivated land is perhaps one of the greatest satisfactions I have experienced in my life. It has reawakened in me, in all of us here, a spirit that was thought lost. We are filled with hope for a different future! Here in Vohiday, life can happen again. Thanks to the contribution of our hands and thanks to your support.
Plant a tree in Madagascar and support the work of Nicola and Tsiryparma. If you want to know more about the NGO and its different projects, or if you want to support the work directly, you can do so here.