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