A Long-Awaited Visitor ;)

Finally! Julie made it back to Zambia after 2 years. And guess where she went: Chinkonono Village of course!

Check our awesome new Slideshow to see what happened in the village and what progress we made while Julie was there:

Julie had a big To-Do-List to check ๐Ÿ˜‰ As you know we have been announcing a market place and kitchen for ages. So we planned to get both structures roofed within that week. We managed for the kitchen. So that is good. The market we only could do half because we lacked grass to that the roof the traditional Tonga way. But we are confident that it will be done very soon.

Also our building that houses the library and sewing room for now was supposed to be painted nicely. Unfortunately there was a lot of plastering to do to fix dents and window sills. But Jason and Albert worked hard. So with a slight delay the ladies, Julie, Wesley and many other hands could start painting.

For the rooms we chose water-based white paint and for the lower part white oil paint so we can wash of prints of dirty kids’ hands ๐Ÿ˜‰ Door and window frames are painted in a dark green. For the front wall and pillars outside we chose white oil paint to be able to wash them too. Also Wesley and Julie practiced their sign writer skills and wrote Planting A Future onto the top part of the front wall.

What can I say? It looks beautiful and bright and people can see it from afar. Our members are so proud, especially the women. They say that nobody has a nicely painted wall our house at home. And to quote Media: “Not all men’s work has to be done by men only. We can do that too!”…she refers to the whole painting job, which was very interesting and exciting for our ladies.

But now lean back and take 12 minutes to watch the Slideshow! Please share if you like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

A Long-Awaited Visitor ;)

A Market in the Making :)

African markets….what image do you have in your mind when you thinkย of an African market? Bright colours, smiles, women carrying baskets on their heads, lots of people rushing through, bargaining and talking, laughter, animals running around…well, fair enough. It is not that far off reality.
In African societies a market is a place where people meet and interact. It serves as the socialising agent and fosters togetherness. While its primary objective is to provide a place where people can trade or buy and sell products and services, a market is a very important aspect of communal life.
Our PAF Center with the library / sewing room, the market and kitchen
Our PAF Center with the library / sewing room, the market and kitchen
In our village, people have to walk several kilometers to Nguba and Singwamba to sell or buy basis products like soap, salt , food and medicines. This will be a thing of the past as a communal market is under construction at our PAF center.
Our market will be made of only natural materials
Our market will be made of only natural materials
We areย building it, usingย local materials such as logs, grass and mud. It will be made of Mubanga Tree logs or Iron Tree so that the market building can last for more than fifty years.
And to quote Lloyd here:ย “Remember, it is traditional building skills being exploited here and no strange stuff like cement or bricks.” … and right he is ๐Ÿ˜‰
Quite a bit of work is going on as you can see in the picture.
Our technician on the site, Mr Epheso Mulwani, is busy mobilising PAF members and volunteers to build the market…and working on it together is the first step of creating a communal togetherness. It will be “our” market and people will be even more proud of it once it is finished.
Check this video Lloyd sent me to see what Epheso and Lloyd are explaining about the way the market is built and what materials we use:
Knowing we talk about Africa I wouldn’t rely on the 8 days ๐Ÿ˜‰ But we will push things to finish it as soon as possible.

Please check back on our blog and see how we do it here in Chinkonono. We will keep you posted.

A Market in the Making :)

Having a Roof over our Heads ;)

Time moves in a different speed in Africa ๐Ÿ˜‰ So also our construction of the first building of our PAF Community Center takes longer than we expected. But lacking money most of the time we have to take things step by step.

Doors, windows and furniture are still missing. But we did put the roofing of our veranda on now. Looks like an easy thing to do? Well…it might if you have access to proper tools and machines. But we don’t…so we do it the Zambian way ๐Ÿ˜‰

Check it out! Lloyd explains how the guys are doing it.

 

And also we do have some insight views…literally…on how the plastering works out in Zambia!

And honestly…it doesn’t look that bad, right?

 

Having a Roof over our Heads ;)

We are getting there…construction in progress :)

Meanwhile…our new sewing room and libray almost look like a house now. We are so happy about the progress and can’t wait to officially open the building for our PAF members and community.

 

And finally hard work pays off…James Silubo’s roasted maize for lunch! So worth the sweat ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy your lunch!

The guys in town have been loading cement on the truck to Chinkonono Village so that we can now start with the floor.

Loading cement on the truck
Loading cement on the truck
We are getting there…construction in progress :)

Brick by Brick

You heard about TIA…This Is Africa ๐Ÿ˜‰ Everything seems to be working in a slower pace, so does our construction side for the sewing room and library. But eventually we will get there. It is all in the making and we are hoping to finish the building very soon, and still according to our building schedule. It is just a rough task to construct a building with close to no financial means. But we wouldn’t be Planting a Future if that would throw us back.

Are you as curious about it as I was? Well…I could convince Lloyd to send us some pics and reveal the big secret. Checkt that:

Proud "daddy" ;)
Proud “daddy” ๐Ÿ˜‰

You know that we actually planned on constructing 2 separate buildings for sewing room and library. Due to some chronic shortage of money we decided to set up both in the same building until we find the financial means to construct a second building.

The building measurs 6m x 6m. There will be 2 rooms in the building. The bigger one will temporarily be used as library and reading room. The smaller one will be occupied by our PAF ladies to store materials and the sewing machines and sell and display clothes they tailor. For the time being they will sew and tailor outside. This also creates quieter environment inside for kids to read and study.

 

We hope to get the roofing fixed by end of next week, so that we can start flooring and plastering the week after. Then its only painting left.

We recieved a generous donation from Bruni so that we can buy some cement and paint to finish things up. Thank you so so much! We already bought some timber to have furniture made. So we are planning to have 12 chairs and 3 medium-sized tables. But still we are looking to raise money for doors, windows and shelves.

So very soon we will be able to move all the books into the new building. Though we are still facing the problem of light inside the building because we do not have power to install lamps. So if anyone has a smart idea how to get bright lighting inside that suffices for reading and doesn’t require electricity…feel free to contact us about it.

Soon those books dind their new home
Soon those books dind their new home

Thanks again to Murray and everyone who donated and sent us books so far!

 

Also we are very happy to announce that our dear friends from Repairer of the Breach donated another sewing machine for our ladies. So soon we will be able to work with 3 machines. We are humbled and so grateful.

Our sewing squad holding the uniforms we tailored
Our sewing squad holding the uniforms we tailored
Brick by Brick

Another Brick In The Wall…

Our construction of the building that will contain both a sewing and a show room for clothes is progressing now.

We are still struggling to get or produce pan bricks. In total we will need about 4.000 (plus a few spare ones in case something happens…you know…). Until now we do have half of those already. Lloyd decided to donate another 1.000 and we will surely find a way to get the remainder.

But: Good news is…taaadddaaaaa! We did start the foundation for the sewing room. And everything else will come bit by bit so that we can open the building in spring next year.

The foundation for our little sewing and show room building
The foundation for our little sewing and show room building

But as you can see all those bricks we need are not even close to the construction side. That means we have to transport all 2.000 we already have from the storing place to the construction side.

Luckily enough Grime’s father is a generous man and donated his ox cart to PAF so that we can ferry the bricks. Thank you!

Grime's father who donated his ox cart to PAF
Grime’s father who donated his ox cart to PAF

 

Getting the ox cart ready for ferrying bricks
Getting the ox cart ready for ferrying bricks

 

Work in progress… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Another Brick In The Wall…

Moulded bricks as a side dish ;)

Many young kids in Chinkonono Village, where Planting A ย Future is based, have to walk 6 to 8km to school. Every day.ย 

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.ย 

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.

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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.

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Moulded bricks as a side dish ;)