MRHP is a grass roots, community-based organization, and as such works within the traditions and Sukuma culture of the local people. Long established local and village community groups are the main route for disseminating knowledge and information. Local traditions are used to enhance to work of the organization, with for example, the preservation of sacred ‘ngitili’ hills being a good way of encouraging tree conservation and reforestation.
MRHP sometimes get involved in sensitizing the community to new ideas which seem at first alien to the culture. Changing attitudes to HIV/AIDS, and educating people to the causes and prevention of the condition is one such example.
Similarly, a benefit of the energy efficient stove making programme is to reduce the number of elderly women with red eyes instigated by the smoke from cooking fires. Not only does this cause them discomfort, but the prevailing belief in witchcraft and the associated idea that red eyes are the indication of a witch has lead to the murder of a number of elderly women. While demonstrating to the community the financial, environmental and health benefits of these stoves, MRHP staff and animators can also help educate the community about the true causes of red eyes and move them away from superstition.