Zambia, Africa

ZAM27 - Chingola Orphanage and Aged Centre (CORAC) : Partnership Reports

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Report Date: August 21, 2017

Report from BHW Zambia Partnership Facilitator Following Visit


Key people: Barnabus Mwela & Titus Mambwe 

Recent Events


Last year we met Barnabus' brother Kelvin who was going to start helping in the partnership. After planting his maize and fertilizing he decided to leave and go back to find a job in Lusaka working in security to earn some more capital. He does hope to come back to Chingola and start a business, which would enable him to join in the partnership again.

Titus and Phyllis are still on the board but Barnabus continues to be the main driving force.  


The chicken layers that were producing well last year have now finished. They did well out of the project and only stopped because the birds reached an age where they were no longer laying well due to age. During the year they put over 3,000 ZMK (US$350) into the higher education program from the chicken profits.

They sold all the 38 birds at 40 ZMK each (US$150 in total) and were going to buy some new birds but Barnabus wasn’t able to commit to another year of looking after them as it means feeding, watering, collecting and selling the eggs every day. The job was offered to the other board members but they also declined meaning they decided to bank the funds until another business opportunity can be decided on. 


They called 38 of the guardians to come for farming training last year but only 13 turned up on the day. Of these only four ended up taking micro-loans to be used when following the methods. The rest of the people just wanted a loan but not to follow the new methods. CORAC said no to this.

The four farmers grew either groundnuts or maize, ½ a lima each (50m x 25m). They received a loan for inputs of 160 to 270 ZMK (US$15 to $25) that is to be repaid in August. 

The yields they got were as follows:
Maid Zwau - 350 kg groundnuts(2.8ton per ha)
Kasongo Titus  -  300 kg groundnuts  (2.4ton per ha)
Kelvin  -  450 kg maize  (3.6ton per ha)
Moses Manyeka -  5 sacks of fresh maize cobs sold for 1 ZMK each cob

Moses planted his maize in October and watered with a treadle pump to enable the maize to be early for market. We met with his daughter Mary who said that they were very happy with the results. 

It was a very difficult growing season for farmers this year with heavy rains and outbreaks of stalk borer and the army caterpillar. 

They have a few challenges here:
- The farm being 12km out of town makes it difficult for people to come to the training
- Each time they run a training course there is an expectation on the trainees to be fed
- The farmers are saying “we don’t want these small loans for small plots, we need big loans for big plots”
- The farmer's fields are a long distance out of town making this follow-up a difficult task.

CORAC is re-thinking how they can help people with farming. They are sure that once people see what can be done on a small plot and compare with the results from the big plots, that people's mindsets can be changed. They are discussing adding the farming as a compulsory subject to be taught at the Skills Training Centre and to do a small demo plot that can be at the Skills Centre in town, i.e. 6m by 6m. 

There is a new organization called Sacaximb Village Foundation who are encouraging farmers to join up. They help provide seed, training in conservation farming and markets. The crops they are offering include soya beans, cow peas, beans and Moringa trees. The size of the farm is to be 1 hectare. Barnabus says they are looking at how they could do 1 hectare as a group together. The price for a 50kg bag of Moringa leaves they have been quoted is 120,000 ZMK (US$12,000). We are not sure this is right and this needs more investigation. 

nearly completedSkills Training

The Skills Centre that CORAC has been building over the last two years is nearly completed, they just need the soak away for the bathrooms to be finished. This has been a long process for CORAC as they have desired to carry on with skills training for the community for over five years since the last skills centre closed. They have used any excess funds they have to complete this out of the current budget. 

They are going to start with tailoring, knitting, carpentry and compulsory for all students will be training in Foundations for Farming. Each course will only be for three months, for two hours each day from Monday to Friday. Course fees have been set at 250 ZMK (US$30) per student to be paid up front. They need to have between 5 to 10 students signed restart classesup for each course. The trainers will be paid a small amount from the fees, the rest going into CORAC's bank account.

Barnabus will teach the carpentry, Faides Chiyesu (from ZAM10a) the tailoring and Edna Milimo will teach knitting. She is the lady who was trained by CORAC seven years ago and has a successful stall in the local market, see report from March 2015.

Education Program

CORAC still has 180 orphans on the education register, with the neediest 25 receiving support for school requirements. They recently held an encouragement day, sharing a meal together and having a time of praise to God. The children are doing well in school and last year they had no one who failed to pass their exams.

getting an educationTalent Empowerment:
The Board decided to try an experiment called “Talent Empowerment”. This means that they have discussed with guardians what “talent” or business the family is already doing. After careful consideration of the businesses, they have found two guardian families that they have given 300 ZMK (US$35) to help empower their business. Both families are into trading food stuffs in the local market.

The funds for this will then be deducted from the amount used in paying for the orphan’s school requirements. The plan is that by investing into the business of these guardians they will be able to create more profit in the business so that the guardian can then pay for the school requirements themselves.

If this first trial works, they want to expand the idea.

Higher Education:
There have been three orphans helped with higher education. Two of them have received loans to help them complete their courses. CORAC has signed legal agreements with them that they have two years to repay the loans after gaining employment. 

Moses completed his early childhood teacher studies in 2016 and is just waiting for his final results to be published. He owes CORAC 18,000 ZMK (US$2,000). There is currently a shortage of teachers for early childhood so there is a high chance he will get employment as soon as his results are published.

Obed is completing his electrical trade studies this December. He owes CORAC 8,000 ZMK (US$900). It is likely that he will set himself up with his own business.

Kennedy finished Grade 12 and wants to study to be a secondary school teacher. He requires 6,000 ZMK per year to study. Instead of a loan, CORAC have empowered him with some capital to start a business trading wholesale foodstuffs. He buys in bulk from the capital Lusaka and then sells to the street vendors. He started with 1,180 ZMK and has currently saved 1,500 ZMK into CORAC's bank account and still has 1,900 ZMK to continue buying more food stuffs. 


Prayer and Praise Points

1) Praise for the continued ability of this group to think outside the box and come up with new ideas to help their community

2) Pray for wisdom regarding how to help farmers change their mindsets

3) Pray for others in the group to step up and take some of the load off Barnabus



new officeWe had a great time with Barnabus on his own this visit as Titus and Phyllis were away. He has set up the office in the Skills Centre which also generates income from typing and printing. 

They continue to be using the funds well for what they are trying to achieve in the community. We think the ideas of the Talent Empowerment Program and helping school leavers to have businesses to save up funds for higher education, have huge potential and will wait to see how it all works.