As you all know in Africa there are a lot of different traditional ceremonies throughout the year. Of course in Zambia there are various ceremonies too.
Now Planting A Future was invited to the Lwiindi Ceremony. It is a big honor for us to exhibit there, especially because Chief Nyawa himself invited us. The organizers say we will be there from October 1st to 3rd. But we will update you on the exact dates once we know.
So Lloyd took some time to explain a bit about the ceremony. He interviewed the village headman Sianyama. Listen to what he says:
And this is what Lloyd explains about Lwiindi:
Lwiindi is a traditional ceremony held anually among the Tonga. There are 3 types of lwiindi: Lwiindi of Chief Monze which is held at Gonde near Monze. Lwiindi of Chief Mukuni and Lwiindi Mweenze bbwe.
Lwiindi mweenze bbwe is held among the Tongas of Chief Nyawa. This is the chiefdom where Chinkonono village is located. So this is the ceremony where Planting A Future was invited to exhibit breadfruit and other tree seedling we rais at our nursery.
It will be held from September 1st to November 3rd at the Chief’s palaca at Mabwa. At this event the Chief will lead his subjects in thanking ancestral spirits for giving them food.
A beer called lwiindi is brewed and the Chief also being the chief priest or the intermediary between the ancestral spirits and the people pour libation on the grave of the very first Chief Nyawa.
This grave is located near a big rock believed to be the home of ancestral spirits. The name of the rock is Guta bbwe mweenze, literally meaning Guta the male rock. The rock is iconic in itself. It is a huge flat rock with prints of animal hooves and human footprints engraved on the rock’s surface.
After celebrations and recieving gifts from his subjects the Chief leads his subjects to Guta. Once there he will pray to the ancestors thanking them for a good harvest, rains and protection from deseases and enemies. And thereafter he will pour the lwiindi beer on the grave while saying incantations to ancestral spirits.
After performing these rituals the Chief will lead his subjects back to the village to feast and dance.
As you know Planting A Future does way more than “just” planting trees. We are trying to help our community in every way we can. These are some of the brainchilds of our initiative to insure household food security. Isn’t it awe-inspiring to see the results?
Many people in and outside our community come to us for advice, for seeds or seedlings. We help as much as we can.
One of the people we support ist Davis Chibanje. The chibanje family benefits from our stream damming a lot. It allows them to water their veggies and that way produces more for their own food security and to sell at the market.
Planting A Future helped Davis and his family to build a small dam to store water for his crops, household use and animals.
They also recieved some of the veggie seeds from us. Thanks to the dam Davis is now able to produce more tomatoes, cabbages, carrots and beans.
But not just Davis is excited about Planting A Future and their work for the village community. Also the village Headman Siazwenaabo is very impressed by what we achieve and do.
But just have a look at the dam we built! I mean…who would not be impressed? 😉 Simple, but serves its purpose very well and improves people’s lives.
Early this January Lloyd raised an appeal for a mothers’ shelter to be built for pregnant women and mothers and mothers taking care of the sick at Singwamba clinic. And guess what? 7 months later the Butterfly Tree Charity has done it 🙂 Together with Planting A Future members the shelter was built and just recently got finished…so no sleeping in the cold and rain for our dear mothers anymore!
Thank you so much to Jane and everyone at the Butterfly Tree Charity! Without you guys this would not have been possible.
And our next challenge is to raise funds for a community preschool near Lloyd’s village. Imagine 86 little boys and guys crammed into a tiny room for thier lessons!
The community and Planting A Future have moulded bricks and all we need now are building materials…and these babies will have a decent room for thier lessons.
We are looking to build something like that:
If we can raise the funds we are sure by August 2016 we will have a room for them.
So if you guys feel like supporting our cause you are more than welcome to help. Also we are always happy about donated children’s clothes and shoes.
Have you ever walked 10 km to school barefoot on a hot scorching October afternoon? With sand boiling under your feets….!! In a month these kids will and we know we wont let them suffer..those sandals, shoes, shorts and shirts our kids have abandoned will make a huge difference. So if you have stuff for kids you dont need and you were wondering what to do with them send them over…
Planting A Future…that is not just sacrificing. But also bringing joy, hope and food to those who need it.
One very good example is Bina Eliza (mother to Eliza). She suffers from asthma and can barely support her family.
So Planting A Future gave her a few packs of veggie seeds. She now grows them and then sells the veggies to drunks and poor people. That way she earns a bit of money to buy maize to feed her own family.
That is the salt behind what we do. It is all about the poor…the stronger ones reach outto support the weak.
Fun Fact: Zambians don’t seem to like the slightly bitter taste of those kinds of turnips. So they just grow them, sell them to Europeans in town and use the leaves for cooking. 😉
Many young kids in Chinkonono Village, where Planting A Future is based, have to walk 6 to 8km to school. Every day.
As you can imagine. this has negatively affected their attendance and also their academic performance.
This scenario has driven the community to open a community pre-school where more than 80 kids can learn. The room they are using now is way too small and not fit for use as a classroom.
So at the moment the community is moulding bricks to build a bigger and better class block. They asked for help from Planting A Future by using our water pump to haul water from the river.
Of course we are more than willing to lend a helping hand. Planting A Future members now also help moulding bricks. So far 5.000 bricks have been moulded and the construction of a larger room will commence soon.
After the stress of all those agriculture shows now it has been a bit quiet for a while until summer break in Lloyds school. During this time we were thinking about the next steps and new perspectives.
But als we made big progress in planting our communal veggie garden. We started out with some test trials to find out if and how the veggies react to zambian weather…remember, it is winter time there now.
Now have a look at the results:
Grime also went out there to have a look at the garden and was more than happy about the results and how well all the veggies grow already.
Of course we also started to help local women. For example our Planting A Future memvber Mrs Munsaka recived a few packets of seeds. Dont they look healthy and yummy?
We are now making use of the school break to get ready for planting season. So we planted new fruit tree seedlings to provide further schools soon.
Right now we are all working on plans on how to make Planting A Future a self-sustaining Charity and create jobs. One idea is to plant different types of veggies like cowpeas or carrots or maize and give seeds to people to grow them in our behalf. So you see, we have a lot planned for the future. We are just trying to figure out on how best to do all those things 😉
But for now we urgently need to find a way to drill a borehole so we can improve irrigation and water all our plants.