Zambia, Africa

ZAM07b - Chifundo Orphan Care: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: July 22, 2016

Report from BHW Zambia Partnership Facilitators Following Visit in July

 

Key people: Rosemary Daka, Steven Daka and Norman & Hilda Tonga

 

Recent Events

Orphans Programs

Currently there are 20 orphans on the Chifundo program (they have added 13 since last year) and 30 on the Chipata OVC program (ZAM23). In total there have been 29 orphans who have benefited from the program and passed Grade 12. Of these they know of 12 who have businesses or regular employment which shows the benefit of these programs.

Because so many orphans have completed their schooling, and due to the devaluation of the kwacha, there will be a significant drop in the budget required for 2017.

One thing that is really impressive in this program is the way that the funding of orphans' school requirements is seen as a partnership with the guardians. The guardians are often called to discuss the requirements and in most cases they pay for uniforms and books, and half the transport costs of boarding school students. 

Farming Trainings

plenty to eatLast year Norman and Steven trained 16 people in Foundations for Farming. This course went very well with 15 out of the 16 farming well to produce great yields (they achieved the equivalent on average of 6 x 50 kg bags of maize per hectare with one farmer as high as 12 bags and three others over 8!)

They had a major issue in March 2016 when the farmers ran out of food because of poor yields the previous season before they were trained. Some people who had the means to buy maize were then offering to give a 25 kg bag of mealy meal as a loan to farmers but they had to repay in maize at harvest time with 5 x 50kg bags of grain. Evil! They were thankful that Bright Hope World supported them in this crisis and sent them some funds to buy enough food to get them through until harvest. These funds (ZMK5,000 or US$500) are now being repaid and the funds will be used in expanding the farming training and input programs.

After the training Norman visited each farmer’s field to ensure that compost had been made, pot holes had been dug and the field had been well mulched. If these criteria had been met the farmer was given some seed and top dressing fertilizer as a micro-loan. Repayment of the loan was at harvest where the farmer brought bags of maize that will be sold to fund the program next year.

very gratefulWe met with the farmers in the local church and they were very thankful for the training and the yields that they obtained. Comments were:
"These good methods and things have come when I am old. What can I do now!"
"We need to hold onto this training that we have been given and to use it."
"Weeding was hard and digging holes was hard but the result was worth it."
"Can we increase the area from ½ lima (25 x 50m) to a larger field next year?"

Norman's plan is to train a further 16 farmers this year and have a refresher course for the ones already trained. The previous trainees will receive larger inputs to farm a lima this year (50 x 50m). The total cost of the farming inputs for the 32 trained will be ZMK10,440 (US$1,044) which will be funded from the sale of maize and the repayment of the emergency food program loan. 

Farming on a whole in the area has gone well this season with both cotton and groundnuts. Cotton companies are giving out inputs as loans to farmers as is a NGO based church program to grow groundnuts that are then purchased by the company, shelled and taken to Lusaka to make peanut butter. Farmers are doing well from these programs. 

Church Planting

Norman continues to plant churches. The most recent one is 80km away and he cycles there once per month to mentor the leadership there. He has put in a request for a motorbike to ease the burden of transport.

 

Personal Stories

Redson Nkhoma

very gratefulRedson is 18 years old and is currently in Grade 8. He is part of the Chipata OVC orphan program (ZAM23). His mother passed away in 2003 and his father passed away in 2007. He is currently living with his elder brother who has five children.

The family farm groundnuts cotton and maize and Redson likes to get out and help with the farming. 

He heard about the orphans program from a church plant in Kapata that Norman facilitated in 2013. He is happy that he is now able to go to school. His favourite subject is Religious Education as it talks about God's word that helps him to live life and to keep him away from evil things.

At church he helps in the youth group and choir. He really appreciates the help that he has been given.

Redson was a child that at 10 years of age rejected the traditional practice of the Nyan dance (the great dance). This dance is enforced by the chief of the tribe and is a satanic practice that beats children, introduces them to drugs and teaches them to steal from other people. 

 

Ideas for the Future

Grinding Mill

They are keen to start creating their own income to be used in the orphan programs by starting a maize grinding mill. The chief in the Chipata rural area has given them some land to start this project.

There are a lot of maize farmers in the area who currently are serviced by one mill which means many farmers have to travel and transport their maize harvest over 25km to get it milled.

The outstanding cost of the mill is $5,790. The estimated income from the mill is between $3,230 and $4,400 per year depending on the amount of bags they get to mill per day. (Lower amount is 15 bags, higher amount is 30 bags). They may be able to make more income from buying maize and milling into mealy meal for sale.

 

Current Issues and Challenges

Norman's transport issues are the current biggest challenge as he would like to be able to visit the churches he has planted on a more regular basis.