The school kitchen has opened!
Thanks to your help Mkunhku school is now feeding 450 children twice a week Nov – Jan through the hungry season. Sustainably! Which is such wonderful news. We have been working alongside the school community to harvest 3 hectares, providing enough food for this season and revenue to buy school equipment! This year, the school farm will extend to 10 hectares with an aim to feed 600 children everyday in 2017.
The desire to make this all happen, in conjunction with the local community, came about not so long ago. Gift, our wonderful Malawi manager is a really strong and passionate individual, you have to be to face what he sees every day. Just the everyday reality for the locals in Malawi is tough and Gift witnessed it first hand. However, this is why we rarely see gift be genuinely shocked, as true as it is that life is incredibly difficult, when gift discovered that the children were only eating whenever they could find food, approx once every 4 days between November and January (Due to the heat, crops don’t grow and the ground is baren), Gift knew that our next project should be to improve conditions.
The lack of reliable sustenance for the children affects so much more in their lives than you may think. Children were unable to attend school due to hunger, your brain can simply not function nor can your body satiate itself on such little nutrition. Something had to change. The way to anyones heart is through their stomach and we want to empower the locals to fight poverty with all the resources they need. It all begins with food.
The opening of this kitchen is a significant improvement and it is paving the way to further magic. By next year, the local community hopes to be able to provide daily food to the children and adults at Mkunkhu community. The main sources of food are maize and soya, both nutritionally dense, they provide a great source of carbohydrates and vitamins. Of course, this can be improved upon in the journey towards helping the community flourish, that is why Oliver one of our other Malawian ambassadors is working in permaculture.
Oliver is doing all he can to learn and acquire all the knowledge possible to be able to turn the land that is notoriously difficult, into a source of sustainability. Learning about permaculture is one thing when the land and mother nature work as one but having seen the ground for ourselves, it is poor. Oliver is truly a hero in this case as he also believes in looking after the local environment and ecosystem; this is why, everything they plant on the land at Mkunkhu is pesticide free and works around the mantra “use nature to fight nature”, for example, did you know onions can keep certain pests away?
The locals have planted lemon grass (also a natural malaria repellant), pumpkin and other root veggies as well as a orchid which will see fruit trees bloom in spring of next year!
So good things are coming in the run up to Christmas. Continue to spread the love by donating towards the Food projects.