A New Oven

It is Christmas time now and the air is full of delicious smells: gingerbread, Christmas cookies, marzipan, cinnamon, clove… I bet your mouth starts watering already just imagining it.

For our villagers in Chinkonono these things are a luxury that most don’t even think of. All those delicious baking goods are not available in the village.

And due to the severe drought the whole of Zambia experienced this year people suffer from hunger all over the country.

That’s why Wesley, a very talented and passionate baker, came up with the idea of building a new oven at PAF Center to bring fresh baking goods to our people. On his way around the surrounding villages he saw an oven that he wants to build at Chinkonono as well:

That’s what we are aiming for

PAF Center is located very close to the road that leads to Kafue National Park, a very popular game park, and to schools in the north western part. So chances of people stopping on their way to buy some snacks are good. And what do people, especially kids, buy on long road trips? Cakes and biscuits. So it makes total sense to start baking goods to sell them at our small shop. The oven will bring us one step closer to creating an income for our PAF people.

This oven is simple to use and works based on wood. The building materials, such as bricks, are being molded by our villagers and they already started laying the foundation of the oven. This is hard work because the bricks have to be carried long distances. But it is work in progress 🙂 The oven itself will be built under a small shelter, which is called “chikuta” in our local language.

So very soon we hopefully get news of the first cupcakes, bread loafs, buns and cakes produced at PAF Center.

A New Oven

DIY Oil Press

Everybody is talking about beach clean-ups now. Collecting garbage and plastic particles when you are at the beach to save the environment. Well…in Chinkonono we don’t have any beaches close by. But nevertheless our villagers started to collect scrap metal.

While right now it is a good business to sell metal scraps to people in Kafue region, our villagers came up with a brilliant idea to reuse some of the metal parts to build a pressing machine.

Around this time of the year some people grow sunflowers and pumpkins. Of course pumpkins are being used as relish in their meals. But the seeds, just as the sunflower seeds, can be used in many ways: naturally or roasted for salads and snacks, food supplement for the animals or pressed to oil.

Up until now we had no means to produce our own oil for cooking or salads. But those times are over now. some parts of the collected metals scraps were transformed into a DIY Zambian Style Pressing machine. Sounds weird? It works though! Of course it is not operated by any engine or battery or power supply. It takes a lot of hard physical labour and muscle to use the press. But it serves its purpose well.

Here you can see Layton and Mubabe waiting for the next “client” to offer their services of operating the press 😉

Our kids are busy as bees

Just to give you an example: 1kg of sunflower seeds results in about 700ml of oil in a modern press. So we probably get a little less. But it is a big achievement. The villagers now can produce different types of oil. At this moment we process the seeds of sunflowers, pumpkins and Moringa trees. All of those are very healthy and add valuable nutrients to people’s diets.

The other plus side is, of course, that now it is much cheaper for them to purchase the oil for their families. Mostly the oil is only available in town. So we will also offer some amounts of the oils in our small PAF shop to make it easily accessible for people in and around Chinkonono.

Sunflower Seeds

Due to the severe drought farming is very hard these days and many people do not have the crops to cultivate plants like sunflowers. That is why PAF will look into starting a big sunflower field around PAF Center.

But we have to be careful with the pressing machine. We already have some “thieves” that try to sneak away the leftovers of the pressing process for their own benefit 😉

We already have interested “clients” 😉

Of course we will add those leftovers to the animals’ food to make sure they get nutrients as well to help them through those rough times.


DIY Oil Press

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I don’t know if you guys have listened to the song „3Rs“ by Jack Johnson. But when Wesley sent me those pictures it instantly came to my mind. Especially in times like that when global warming, pollution and the future of our beautiful planet are present on all media and everyone is talking and worrying about it.

Recently in Chinkonono people were spotted collecting metal scraps and carrying them to a place close to our PAF Center. Why? Well…for once our villagers are trying to keep the nature clean and preserve it. But of course it also turned out to be a new way of getting some extra income.

We call it a „bend down business“ because you literally walk aroud, bend down and pick up different type of metal scraps (for example steel, silver, aluminium or copper). Those have to be carried tot he central collecting point close to PAF Center. More or less regularly a dealer comes to Chinkonono to buy the metal from the villagers. He then transports it to a steel plant where it will be recycled.

The scrap metal dealer going through the material

People, especially kids and women, come from Chinkonono and the surrounding villages. If available they use oxcarts to transport their collected metal. But more often they come to our PAF Center packed like donkeys with metal on their backs and in their hands.

Of course the amount of money they earn is just small. But it is enough to support families with food items, paying school fees or new clothes.

Just look at those 4 kids: Timmy, Mike, Richard and Judy made it a competition to collect as much metal as possible. And as kids are they find the fun side in everything. And it was worth it: fritters, biscuits and sweets could be purchased and the wedding nearby was their next stop 😉

The Things you do for some Sweets 😉


Dunka on the other hand took it more seriously. He planst o buy a female goat and, as school opens again soon, a new school uniform and stationary items for school.

Dunka has big plans


Mama Cosam and her daughter Mutinta want to buy a gallon of maize to feed the family, salt and washing soap.

Mama Cosam and Mutinta


So you see…things are moving the right way in Chinkonono and the surrounding villages. The fact that our villagers can get some extra money for preserving the environment by recycling old metal is just amazing.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Did you hear the cow bells?

Ever wondered how we work metal in the village? Well…meet Marvin.

Manual work

Marvin is 40 years old and has no education. But he certainly knows his way around and how to make a living as the welder in Chinkonono.

Quite a handy guy

He constructed his own tools that he works manually, using old bicycle parts as the „engine“.

Together with another young man who works with a diesel generator Marvin works as the welder and makes cow bells, hoes, axes and plough parts, just to mention a few.

I mean…how else could we have our bicycles fixed?


Did you hear the cow bells?

Goats all over the place

Wesley always has his focus on PAF and new ideas and projects we could start. Recently he attended a workshop on goat breeding and production. Well, „production“ sounds a bit rude. But this workshop was organized by the Zambian government through the ministries of livestock and agriculture because they plan to open the export of goats to countries of the middle east.

Apparently goat breeding is very easy and quick in Zambia, so goats seem to be on the market a lot. Those workshops were offered at many places to educate people about how to raise the goats and then sell them in Zambia or outside the country. At the workshop people were taught how to keep the goats and thus make them marketable. To quote Wesley: „A good breed is the number one.“

Feeding the goats

Of course the business side is only one aspect why I decided to write this post. Inspired by Mama Teddy who raised three orphans using goat milk, Wesley started to look more into it and gathered more information.

Goat milk is very nutritious, especially for little children. As Wesley says „A goat is an orphanage on its own“. What he means is that you can use the milk to feed kids, even or especially if they are underweight. Just a small cup of milk can feed a child for one day.

Goats cover a big part of the meat demand in Zambia, especially in rural areas such as Chinkonono. And of course you can also cook delicious meals of goat meat. 😉

Goats are easy to breed. They adjust to basically every kind of environment and conditions. Even in the dry regions of rural Zambia goats will find food and a little water. They don’t need big enclosures and are very resistant to diseases. Since they reproduce up to three times a year with each a litter of 5 to 6 kids most villagers nowadays try to keep goats.

Look at them 🐐

Goats have become some kind of informal currency. Of course you can just sell them and use the money to pay for your children’s school fees etc. Even people from neighbouring countries come to Zambia to buy them because of their meat. But in some hunger-stricken areas they are being exchanged and traded for maize, millet, sorghum, groundnuts or even mealie meal (maize flour).

And last but not least: The goats‘ dung can be used as a very fertile manure on fields and in gardens. Now that the price for fertilizer has risen so much, having 10 to 15 goats, a farmer could easily get up to 100kg of manure. Basically for free.

Who would have guessed how important they are?

So you see…if you start looking around with an open mind, as Wesley is always doing, you will find ways to make life easier just around the corner. I’d say: Get yourself a goat or two! 😉

And be sure that Wesley will share his new knowledge and spread the word to help the community.

Goats all over the place

Kulya Kabotu – Enjoy your meal!

As dry season goes on and on the water levels of rivers and lakes decrease gradually. This is a catastrophe for all farmers. The farmland, gardens and countryside turns brown and savanna gold.

But there is also one plus to this for our people in Chinkonono. It may sound aweful at first when I tell you now that due to the drought thousands of fish get stranded and die. But this is a blessing for our villagers and people in rural areas.

Those fish can easily be caught and collected. And that means an additional source of food.

Our Chinkonono people recieved a full truck load of fish today. Catfish. Wesley and young Rayton also went to catch fish themselves. Successfully.

Check that out:

This truck carried about 1000 fish to the surrounding villages. Of course the cold chain is impossible to keep up in rural Zambia.

So we had to be fast cleaning the many many fish and start to prepare them. To make them more durable to keep them for the months when food gets scarce we chose the method of smoking.

As you can see this is a loooot of work and all hands were needed.

Little Rayton is just in the process of learning how to hunt and fish. He was very successful as you can see. And proud. 😉

Of course after today’s hustle, of course, Wesley also got one of the catfish for dinner, roasted and yummy.

So kulya kabotu!

Kulya Kabotu – Enjoy your meal!

First PAF Workshop on “Sack Gardening”

Guess what?! Just a few days ago Wesley was leading the first PAF Workshop on Sack Gardening. Five headmen of the area welcomed this workshop to be held by us. We don’t really have facilities at PAF Center yet to host events such as workshops. So our PAF members and their kids gathered underneath a tree where Wesley was preparing a blackboard with all necessary information.

Teaching a workshop was a first for Wesley as well. But his motivation to transfer knowledge to the villagers and the next generation made him a great teacher. And the audience has not only been our PAF ladies, but also young men and kids who are interestend in learning about securing their food supply.

Ever heard of sack gardening? No? Keep on reading then.

As the world grapples with the garbage scourge and does not know what to do with it, we at PAF have a solution:
You guys have probably seen banana stems after you cut them, right? Where do those go?
We at PAF use them as base for growing veggies. I mean…who would wanna waste all that moisture, nutrients and perfect temperature in the stem?
Now you wonder what happens to the used maize and fertiliser sacks?

Sack gardening basically means to turn your unwanted sacks into a veggie garden for your kitchen. Yes…that is right. We are using the banana stems and old sacks to plat veggies in them. Only little water is needed because the sack holds moisture for a long time, even in the scorching Zambian sun. Lets say 5 litres of water can last for close to a week. The soil never leaches the manure from it.

The sacks can be used up to six months, which means you are set for two times of harvest. Then due to the watering and nutrients in the soil the sacks decompose and basically turns into soil as well. Also we reduce the garbage because there is no sack littering.

Additionally to Sack Gardening the participants also learned more about Kitchen Gardening and the usage of old plastic buckets and trenches as pots to grow veggies in small scale for kitchen use.

The wokshop contained both, a theoretical and practical part. First the knowledge was transfered and people could take notes and ask questions. And then they learned how to prepare the banana stems, the sacks, the trenches and of course the plastic bucets filled with trench material.

So what do you think? Did we find a good solution? We are quite happy. Since the workshop was well appreciated and a success we are planning on extending the offer of workshops at PAF Center. We are toying with, hopeflly, being able to hold workshops more regularly in the future.

If you have any suggestion for topics you consider helpful concerning farming, irrigation and fighting drought, please let us know! Thank you 🙂

First PAF Workshop on “Sack Gardening”

Giving is a Gift

Today PAF went back to our roots. Wesley has been out in the surrounding villages to hand out some plants to people in need.

And I know it doesn’t sound like much, but due to severe drought people struggle to plant enough maize and veggies to even feed themselves and provide for their families. Especially for old and disabled people it has become mere impossible to do farming nowadays.

So please meet 3 of those people whose faces showed a smile today after Wesley visited them:

Banene Naomi

Banene Naomi was born in 1920, so she turned 99 years. For many years Naomi took care of orphans in her house and yard. Even now she takes care of a boy called Alfred. Wow! What a woman. 😊

As you can imagine garden work and farming don’t come easy for her. She recieved Moringa, rape veggie, onions and tomato today, plus 2 sacks of organic material. Those sacks are filled with ant hill soil, top layer soil, chicken drops or goat manure. Up till now she only could plant and harvest a little bit of maize.

You wonder why we handed out the veggies and onions in 2 sacks? Well…It is more flexible and they can easily move it around. Of course Wesley made sure that there is a portable protective fence around the sacks. To water the plans in the easiest way that doesn’t involve too much work we installed an old water bottle for drip irrigation. Smart, huh?

… And Mary and her daughter Maluba

Mary is not able to work in her garden these days and so most of the work has to be done by little Maluba and some people who help her. Those two recieved Moringa plants and 2 sacks of organic material just like Banene Naomi got.

Growing Moringa will add valuable nutrients to their diet and meals. They will be able to harvest in a few months already because moringa grows very fast around Chinkonono.

Well… Let’s keep this up! Doing small things like that does not take much, but it has as huge impact on people’s lives.

Go PAF! Love without boarders!

Giving is a Gift

Belated Xmas Surprise

Well… Easter is already over. But guess what? Our PAF members just recieved their Xmas parcels from last year a few days ago 😉

Bruni, Julie and 2 of her workmates sent the parcels out early November 2018. Apparently it got stuck in customs for a while and then the postal service in Lusaka was on strike.

After all it arrived and it was a pleasant surprise for our members who munched on nshima and xmas cookies in April 😉

They also recieved some shirts that were give to us by pro basketball player Tim Schneider from ALBA BERLIN. Thanks, Tim! 🙂

Julie’s colleagues Poty and Jacky sent some stationary, some sweets and Xmas cookies and helped us with the shipping costs. Danke! 🙂

Furthermore Bruni and Julie sent some small gardening tools, some books and puzzles for the library and some small items to help in the shop.

Thanks to everyone who helped sending and filling up that box! We made some eyes sparkle and some sweet teeth happy 😉

Merry belated Xmas ho ho ho 😉

Belated Xmas Surprise

The Kitchen Garden Concept

While most of us, on Easter Sunday, probably spent the day resting our members started a new project at PAF Center: the kitchen garden.

The plan is to raise a small, yet intensive patch comprising of vegetables, tomatoes, onions, chillies, beans and maize.

The aim is to educate our members and villagers to on how to grow enough relish and food for the kitchen on a small scale, organically and with minimal water usage.

As you can see Effeso, Smith anf Lloyd were preparing the soil for planting and watering.

We will update you on the progress soon 🙂

The Kitchen Garden Concept