05 Jan Just look at this!
Who says you can’t make a difference in Africa?
The story of a transformation in Malawi:
In July we found a neglected vegetable garden at the St Andrew’s Nutrition centre Mtunthama. A sponsor had abruptly withdrawn support, and so there was no gardener , no seeds, no produce.
Our Nutrition centre provides food for the malnourished, some of which should come from its garden. And while the families are at the centre, there is a great opportunity to teach them good garden techniques including use of compost. But there was no one to grow food or teach the families for the future.
Two visiting 6th formers got together with Brickson Phiri, a local gardener. They put in the essential cash to start up, then together they dug the garden, and with others located and built fencing . It was arranged for Brickson to continue to be employed, helped by a new sponsor.
By December Brickson was able to send us the prints of a blossoming garden, prints which he will have paid for himself. He has also been using his own tools, and now seeks more space, to produce enough for sale and thereby help nutrition centre funds.
Brickson wrote as follows
“ Why are vegetables growing so quickly. Because I am teaching them , so they are very happy to be helped.. I am asked to extend the garden but there are no tools for me yet. You know I am still using my tools and we have a water shortage….so I borrow hosepipe and often time borrow buckets from ladies for fetching water from bore hole. To me it is very necessary to extend the garden because then we would be selling lots of vegetables and giving some money to children..”
Brickson had been unemployed. So he now has a job and some money for his family. The garden is producing a surplus and he is teaching others.
Things can be done. It sometimes just needs the extra resource we can offer – start up cash, and support for a local salary – and then things will flourish – in this case literally.