Shamiso Winnet Mupara

Shamiso Mupara is a Zimbabwean environmental activist with a vision for change for her village in Zimbabwe. She is the founder and executive director of Environmental Buddies Zimbabwe Trust.


Born Shamiso Winnet Mupara, she and her family grew up in Marange, an area affected by large-scale diamond operations. The village has experienced many political and environmental consequences as a result of diamond mining – including polluted water sources, ailments in local livestock and livelihoods, and rampant deforestation.

Shamiso Mupara has rich United Methodist roots. Her mother is Rev. Winnet Mupara, associate pastor of Mabvuku United Methodist Church, St. Timothy Circuit, Harare East District. Her father, a United Methodist teacher and pastor, who died in 1990, advocated for environmental sustenance in the 1970s and 1980s in the Marange District. Decades later, Shamiso worked at Buwerimwe and other schools in Marange where her father advocated for tree planting.[1]


Shamiso Mupara has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Sociology from Africa University (2007) and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Botswana (2016) and a Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety from the University of Botswana (2017).


Wanting to see a change and a better future for her village, Shamiso and her brother Guyson founded Environmental Buddies Zimbabwe Trust, an environmental organization which focuses on reforesting Zimbabwean villages affected by desertification and climate change.

In 2013, the group started planting trees with schools and communities, with an emphasis on educating youth on environmental degradation. In June 2018, Global Greengrants Fund became Environmental Buddies’ first funder ever, supporting their work with a small grant.

As of September 2018, Shamiso was building a nursery to raise 5,000 saplings. In addition to planting trees, Environmental Buddies created a tree library with 100 different species of indigenous trees that are at risk of becoming extinct. As part of this project, Shamiso and her team planned to create an educational hub so that local communities can learn about these trees and their importance in the wider environmental network, including preserving traditional and ancestral knowledge about medicinal uses from trees, in an area where medical care is often inaccessible.

Shamiso made it clear that it’s not just about the trees: planting trees facilitates open dialogue on other important concerns in her community, such as advancing opportunities for local women. Incidents of child marriage in the area, like in other parts of Zimbabwe, are high, leaving girls unable to finish school. Through Environmental Buddies she developed activities in response to the local context which tackle social problems and simultaneously protect the environment. Initiatives such as the Beading Project, where young girls learn how to make and sell jewelry out of seeds, bark, and other parts of the tree, are instrumental in helping young women in Marange and neighboring villages generate income.

With Environmental Buddies she has big plans for the future, such as creating a community seed bank, installing solar power to reduce firewood collection, beekeeping, and educating young women about their important role in protecting the environment. Although not an easy road ahead, Shamiso and her team are hopeful and determined. With her palpable passion and enthusiasm, she will create a greener and better Zimbabwe for generations to come.[2]

Social Responsibility

She is actively involved in Waste Management in cities by advocating for citizens to practice the 3 Rs (Reuse, Recycle and Recycle). Her passion to restore mostly native forests stems from her upbringing in the rural areas of Zimbabwe where she witnessed how the effects of massive harvesting of forests impacted mainly on women and the girl child. In addition to her work to address environmental challenges, Shamiso also assists in paying school fees for some students from her former primary school, as well as taking care of the aged in her community.[3]


  1. Kudzai Chingwe, [1], United Methodist News, Published: 18 September, 2018, Accessed: 31 January, 2021
  2. Jodie Stempel, [2], Global Greengrants Fund, Published: 26 September, 2018, Accessed: 31 January, 2021
  3. Shamiso Winnet Mupara, [3], Environmental Buddies Zimbabwe Trust, Published: 7 June, 2020, Accessed: 31 January, 2021