Zambia, Africa

ZAM07b - Chifundo Orphan Care: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: August 8, 2013

Report from BHW Zambia Partnership Facilitator

 

Recent Events

Farming Training

Lonard has trained many people in the community, some have been part of the programmes but many are just trained and then left to themselves.

The original group of 20 who were trained in 2011 have not all repaid the loans. Chifundo has decided that they should repay by giving maize rather than money as it is easier for the people to do this. Some people are to pay with 4 bags and others 5 bags which is to happen in the next few weeks.

Last year Lonard gave out some seeds, 2 kg per person to four people and they are to repay with 4 gallons of maize, which they have now repaid.

Of the people using the Foundations for Farming method, yields ranged from the equivalent of 1.2 ton per hectare, right up to two people getting 6.15 and 6.7 ton per hectare. This method is now showing some good results. The people are saying the challenging areas are how to stop the children from lighting fires and chasing mice, and with other crops to do they are failing to manage the areas they are planting, so all the method is not completed well. Some people are starting to realize that they are trying to plant too big an area and cannot manage it, so they fail. We had a small training session talking about the verse in Haggai 1:5&6 which says “consider your ways, you have planted much but harvested little”.  There were testimonies from the people to back this up.

Lonard teachingLonard also gave a lesson on the correct storage of maize, teaching them about the medicines that exist and how to apply them to keep the bugs and weevils out of the maize, “it is too much hard work to waste your efforts for bugs”.

Lonard also told a story to encourage repayment of loans:

Once there was a boy. He lived in town and saw people eating a lot, but he had nothing so he had to beg from them, and they got sick of this. They chased him and he left to go back to the village. 

When in the village he started to farm, but he was so poor he had no salt for his cooking. One day he left a pot of nshima and beans cooking on the fire while he went hunting. A large bird saw the fire and pots and came to inspect. The bird saw there was no salt, so he crowed and then coughed up salt onto the food.

The boy returned and was surprised to find that his food was seasoned with salt, and did not understand what had happened. The next day he left some mice cooking on the fire and went fishing, and the bird came again and provided the salt. That night he determined that he needed to see how his food was getting salt. 

The next day he set a fire and some fish to be cooked, and then hid in his small house. The bird came and crowed and spat salt into his food. The boy thought, aha I will kill the bird and get the salt that comes from inside him. So he got his bow and arrow and killed the bird. He opened the stomach and didn’t find salt, opened the heart and no salt, opened even the head and no salt.

The moral of the story, don’t kill what is trying to help you!

The story was listened to well, and many people were nodding their heads at the end.

The aim is to do some retraining of people and make some follow-up visits. They have requested a loan fund of 3,000KR for loans. It will cost 200KR for a training programme and 800KR for fuel to allow them to visit people for follow-up. 

Orphan Programmes

There have been a number of orphans who have now finished school:
• Melvin Tonga who is at a Bible school in Lusaka
• Martha Nyitenda who has a job in Lusaka working as a security guard
• Saidi Tonga who has a job in Chipata at Modern Baza which is an Indian retail shop
• Johnathan Nyirenda who works for the government Food Reserve Agency, buying and selling maize
• Paul Nyrienda who has been supported to Agricultural College in Chipata by his grandmother
• Josephine Mkawni who is living in Chipata town looking for piece work
• Moses Lungwa who has his own business in Lusaka selling spices. He has been doing very well and sends money back to help his sister go to nursing college.

In the rural village (ZAM23) the committee members have been encouraged to make sure that they are visiting with the orphan children and helping to mentor them with issues. It seems that this programme has been a bit slack, so they are to make an effort during the next school holidays.

The school syllabus has been going through many changes which has caused pupils to be struggling with school work. The teachers are also not able to cope with these changes, meaning results have been dropping.

Teachers are now banned from giving extra lessons at some high schools because it has been seen that they are not focusing on teaching the children in class, rather they focus on earning extra money by teaching outside of the classroom and charging students for the service.

The current government is considering bringing in new rules so that if a Grade 9 student fails they have to go back to Grade 7 and repeat from there. It is not yet passed as a law but they are working on it. 

Church Planting

There have been three churches planted this year by Norman Tonga within 20km of his home: Chinunda, Magulu and Pukutani. If children are included the membership of each is around 20 to 25. A lot of the people are Muslims who are converting to Christ. This ministry has been a challenge as normally they are not interested in seeing or reading the Bible as they are commanded not to look at any other literature other than the Quran. However once exposed to the Bible, the word of God can heal hearts.

Noman has been comparing the Bible and Quran to show that God is a loving God and has a plan for our salvation. The only way a Muslim is able to be assured of reaching “heaven” is to die involved in the holy war.

Currently in the area members of the Mosque have been given a lot of things to entice them. They normally get 100KR per month, plus food, bikes and clothes. All of these things are funded by the local Indian businesses. They are now also targeting farming, wanting to give out fertilizers to farmers.

 

Lonard & Rosemary Personal Support (ZAM07a)

Chicken Layers

good income generationThe layers were purchased to generate income to replace the personal financial support from BHW that was stopped at the end of last year. They started with 15 and then increased to 90 birds. They purchased them at the point of lay from a man who was selling in Chipata.  Soon after buying the birds about 30 died from a disease that Lonard described as coughing. They rushed for medicines and the remainder survived.

They feed the chickens 10kg per day - a 50kg bag costs 134KR although they have started to buy concentrate which they mix with maize bran which costs 180KR and makes 125kg.

The system is semi free range and the birds are producing 46 to 48 eggs per day.  A tray (30 eggs) is selling for 23KR to 26KR depending on the size of the eggs. They are selling 7 to 10 trays per week and are eating some of the eggs.

There is considerably more demand than Lonard can produce so he is keen to increase this programme to 150 birds. They have already started to mold the bricks for this project. 

Oxen and Implements

They also purchased three oxen bulls to train up, with a cart and a plough. The plan is to hire out the plough and cart for income, as well as providing them with help for their own farm. They want to purchase a “ripper” to help rip lines in the field for the Foundations for Farming method.

They are about to sell one of the oxen to their daughter and with that money will finish paying for the cart.

Stephen Daka

Steven Daka, Lonard's son, who works with the Chifundo programme has moved into town and was renting a small shop. He was doing well until the landlord wanted him to also rent the attached house at 500KR per month. He could not afford this so has been building a house with a shop attached for himself to run his business.

He has been working a lot with the people from OM, Lameck Masozi and Mark Banda, to help with the outeach programmes.

 

Personal Stories

Norman Tonga

Doing wellNorman Tonga is the leader for the rural church OVC program (ZAM23). He has three children who are in school writing exams this year, two in Grade 9 and one in Grade 7. Next year he will have to find 700KR per term per child to send them to school.

He was trained in Foundations for Farming in 2010. He has farmed well for the last two seasons, making good yields from the small area that he planted using the new methods. Many people have been watching and are becoming interested in the methods.

In 2011 he requested a loan from Bright Hope World to help with his personal support to buy an oxen and cart. With this he was going to set up a plough and ox cart for hire to supplement his income. However he failed to get the cart and plough but has ended up with five cows, one is an older female, one good trained oxen, two smaller untrained oxen and one newly born female. This year he wanted to make use of the one trained oxen. He went in with a friend who also has an oxen and plough and together they ploughed 2 acres of maize, 1 acre of cotton, 1 acre of soy beans, 1 acre of groundnuts and 1 lima of sunflower.  He tried to plant some maize with the new method but because of all the other crops it failed.

His yields have been low for all the crops, due to going too large: sunflowers - 10 bags, soy beans - 9 bags, maize- 40 bags, ground nuts - 22 bags, cotton - 6 bags. The prices for cotton in the area have gone down in the last two years. It was as high as 3.40KR per kilo but now is 1.95KR per kilo. This year he is thinking of doing a much smaller area, but doing it well to increase his yields. Lonard Daka was encouraging him to do so, and to be a model to the community.

He still wants to get an ox cart so he can have income from transporting others' goods. We encouraged him that he could sell the old cow and one of the bulls and that amount would be enough to buy an ox cart. However it seems that the cultural tradition of owning cows meaning you are rich runs deep, so he doesn’t seem to think that idea is ok but he is going to discuss it with his wife to see what she thinks.

Tabalariko Miti

Lives aloneMiti now lives alone, his wife has passed away and all his daughters are married and not living with him. For his support he grows maize for consumption and tobacco for sale. Before he moved to Chipata and started farming he was based in Lusaka working for a building contracting company. He was there for 18 years before he resigned.

For tobacco growing, the local companies give out contracts to farmers where the company will provide all the inputs by way of a loan and the farmer agrees to sell all his tobacco back to the company.  The company then calculates the total amount of the loan and subtracts this from the payment made to farmers. This year his yield was ok giving him a profit of 2,700KR (US$540). In other years he has made as low as 600KR from the same acre. He has been growing tobacco since 1989.

He was very interested when trained in the new methods for growing maize and planted an area 21m x 6m. He was surprised by the yield of 1.5 bags because he had also eaten a lot of green maize from the area. He also planted 1 acre using traditional methods and got 12 bags, which is a low yield.

For his seed he used local maize that he had grown for his own consumption (local maize stores well and is somewhat resistant to the pests that come and eat it), and hybrid maize that he sells. He says that the tobacco companies are not allowing the farmers to plant with hybrid maize seed, only because they do not want the farmers to be distracted from growing a good crop of tobacco.

With the new method he likes the fact that it uses manure with compost because even without fertilizer the yield is okay. He finds digging pot holes hard, but it is easier than building ridges to plant in.

Felistus Zulu and Christopher Phiri

Big differenceFelistus and her husband Christopher were one of the four guardians who were given some seed this year from the Chifundo programme. They planted their seed in mid-December, after the rains became consistent. There were periods of drought and although they did not use mulch they saw a big difference with the new method of using compost and planting on flat land rather than ridges.

They want to use mulch this next year as they saw a lady that used mulch last year, her field was soft and the mulch had decomposed adding to the top soil. They noted that the maize grown with compost was much greener than that which was planted using D compound fertilizer. They brought some urea and applied it once only using the correct methods.

They are very happy with the new methods and are really excited about how the compost manure works so much better than fertilizer. Also, they used to use just cow manure but they have found that produces many weeds in the field where as compost does not.

Many people like the crops grown by compost, saying they have more taste than the fertilizer grown crops. Even the millers of maize are saying that compost grown maize weighs more than fertilizer grown maize, and produces more mealy meal from a bag of shelled maize when milled.

Felistus says that a man was watching them make compost with leaves, grass and manure, and he was very interested but said this is very strange to mix these things together with water and it makes heat. She explained how it also kills the weed seed and becomes very dark in colour when ready to use.

“If a  few of us can make a stand, many will be converted to this method”

 

Plans for the Future

The local churches have gathered together and are going to start a Bible school. All the churches have contributed to supplying funds to build a small complex. The plan is to teach people in the churches more of the word of God, so they have a greater understanding of their relationship with God rather than it just being religion.

The course curriculum is still to be decided but they are looking for short courses of one to two weeks to tackle subjects, with the students having to supply their own food and do their own cooking. The courses will be both in English and local languages. They are targeting the course at a level that the local village churches can accept.

OM workers in the area are to help with teaching and Dick Mumba will also be invited.

 

Current Issues and Challenges

Moving around in the car is an issue in terms of fuel costs when making follow-up visits for the farming training.

 

Prayer and Praise Points

• Pray that the committee starts to visit the orphans as they have said
• Pray that people will plant smaller fields and harvest much