You probably all have heard about those huge African families, right? Well…you should meet Zaire. He is married to 4 women and lives with all of them and their children and even grandchildren. As you can imagine it is not easy for people in the village to provide for all of those people and feed all those hungry mouths.
So Zaire was really happy when PAF decided to donate a few trees for him and his families. We gave him 2 pawpaws and oranges and some other fruit trees in December 2015. Now check out how well he takes care of those plants and how big they have grown already!
Lloyd took us on a little visit to Zaire’s home. So check that video and meet Zaire:
African markets….what image do you have in your mind when you think 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.
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.
We are building it, using 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: “Remember, it is traditional building skills being exploited here and no strange stuff like cement or bricks.” … and right he is 😉
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 😉 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.
It all began with a picture on Intsagram. It is incredible what can happen, using social networks…you meet the most amazing people. So it happened for PAF 🙂
Lloyd sent me this picture of our Planting A Future football team, the PAF Warriors…a team of Chinkonono boys.
I uploaded it on Instagram and the way it works is that you use hashtags so other people can find your pics related to certain topics. One of my hashtags must have worked out because the picture got some likes and comments. One of them was from Andrew from Melbourne in Australia.
We started talking about the conditions of our team and about how hard it is to equip the village kids with sporting uniforms and balls. Andrew said he would love to help us. And so he did…only a few days after the Instagram post I received an email from Andrew. He said he was working his way through the warehouse and found some jerseys he would love to send over to Zambia.
I was so happy when I heard that. To be honest I expected maybe around 15 jerseys, which would have been great already. But the next email Andrew sent me made me feel a bit dizzy…in total he found 60 sets of sporting uniforms (jerseys, shorts, socks) in different colours and sizes. Surreal 😉
He also talked about PAF to his mom Niki, who is a primary school teacher. She talked to people in her school and managed to get some school books and educational posters of numbers, alphabet, colours etc. for our village school.
All those things were gathered and packed (in 3 big boxes) within only a few days and then shipped through DHL…express shipping! That was new. Usually when we send stuff it takes ages to get there. So everyone was very excited. I remember Andrew texting me he wished he could pack himself into one of the boxes to be there when they will be opened 😉
And the best thing about it was that Lloyd and the villagers didn’t know anything. We planned it as a huge surprise. I only told Lloyd that 3 boxes will be in Kalomo soon 😉
After a little struggle with Zambian customs at Lusaka airport (it would have been too good to be true if all worked out like planned), which Andrew could solve, Lloyd could finally pick up the boxes on Monday and take them to the village.
I guess pictures and videos say more than a thousand words. So just check them and see for yourself!
This is what Lloyd said when he got back to Chinkonono and opened the boxes with the kids around:
“Imagine playing football in one pair of jerseys for the whole year and sometimes playing in birthday suits when some players opt to wear the jersey to church or wedding ceremony? This was the scenario at PAF Warriors until one of our supporters gave us a surprise. It was such a surprise as the whole thing from planning to shipment was done in such mystery that I kept guessing what was in store for us. Julie and Andrew did it in such a way that they deserve an Oscar for the “Mystery of the Year Awards”. 😉
This beautiful mystery kept the village on the edge…personally I thought it was books for the library. One woman thought it was a bale of chitenge materials while headman Chinkonono thought it was a batch of breadfruit trees. The mystery didn’t end there as kids competed with each other guessing on what the parcels contained. Most of the kids thought it was kids clothes and toys and the big boys thought it was a pair of jerseys. While Julie kept on keeping me on the edge of the seat by refusing to reveal the contents. This made me so anxious to get the parcels and take them to the village so that I could see what was inside.
The day we were to open the boxes was dramatic as kids came to my house at 06am just not to miss the excitement. 😉 We couldn’t do it at home due to the number of people anticipating to see the contents hence we took the boxes to PAF center which has a lot of space. We did a quiz before opening by asking kids what was in the boxes. As you may guess the general response was sweets, clothes and toys. There was a mixture of joy and horror when the boxes were opened. Some of the real young kids sighed with dismay while girls and boys, men and women cheered loudly. It was obvious they had the last laugh.
And what was in the boxes? While while…sixty pairs of brand new jerseys, shorts and socks. The village had never seen such a thing before. It was such a joy to touch what they only saw on TV.
And now their own village team was to have a full soccer kit like premier league soccer teams clubs and two brand new balls plus a soccer ball pump. But also our ladies were happy as they were given the white jerseys for the new-formed netball team, the PAF Eaglets. It was such a beautiful day indeed.
Gratitude to Andrew and Niki Skoullos for donating the kits and school materials. This will motivate the boys who bring so much happiness in Chinkonono. Gestures of love like this make it a beautiful world to live in. Indeed its love without boarders from Australia.
Thanks Andy and Niki. Thanks for being part of the light PAF is bringing to Chinkonono village.”
Andrew…you guys really brought so much joy into our hearts! We have no words to express how grateful we are! Those kids, boys and girls, love sports. It is their way of releasing stress and getting their minds off things. And now they do have proper uniforms to play football or netball and can even compete with other teams!
Also the school materials will make our village school so much nicer and more colourful. Our kids will love it and that way be even more motivated to learn and study 🙂 Thank you so much, Niki!
Andrew sent me a little text as well. Check what he says:
“Even in rainy, cold Melbourne, Australia – our hearts are warmed by the work Planting A Future does. Through the power of the internet I was lucky enough to come in contact with Julie and she helped us share what we can with the people in Chinkonono! My mum Niki, being a primary school teacher was able to collect story books, educational posters and stationary which I hope Lloyd and the teachers will put to good use! The sporting uniforms I was able to get a hold through work and I thought it would be special to be able to provide uniforms and equipment for those who love sport just like me! I would love to wish Planting a Future the best of luck with their campaign, I’ll be supporting you guys all the way! To Julie, Lloyd and all the people in Kalomo and Chinokono village – we’re sending you our love! ”
Twalumba kapati! Zikomo! Thank you! Danke! We are sending back all our love to you, Niki and Andrew!
You guys are world changers and it lifts our spirits as well that there is generous people like you out there in this world who just jump in and help us without thinking twice! We are humbled indeed! That is Love Without Boarders!
Whoop Whoop! We do have a guest blogger here today. I will only play translator, the following post will be in the German original version and my English translation.
Well…my friend Nora had to listen to me rambling about Planting A Future a lot in the past weeks. She has been patient with me and also is one of our supporting members. Thanks, Nora 🙂 Anyways…I also told her about Moringa and its positive effects and all the essential nutrients. As you might remember I did pack some sample bags of original PAF Moringa powder a while ago to hand out to people who are interested in trying it.
Nora agreed to give it a try and write down her experiences with Moringa powder. Check that:
Ich fühlte mich immer etwas müde und schlapp, besonders nach einem langen Tag im Büro. Da erzählte mir meine Freundin Jule über die positiven Eigenschaften der Moringa-Pflanze. Da ich nicht besonders viel Gemüse und auch nicht regelmäßig Obst esse und auch keine Lust auf irgendwelches Tablettenschlucken hatte, fand ich die Alternative, mir jeden Tag ein Glas Wasser mit einem Teelöffel Moringapulver zuzubereiten, aufgrund der natürlich enthaltenen Inhaltsstoffe sofort sehr ansprechend. Gesagt, getan. Es roch nach gemähtem Rasen. Bio halt. Ab damit ist Wasser…doch so richtig gut löste sich das Pulver nicht im Wasser auf.
I always felt a bit tired and weak, especially after a long day at work. This is when my friend Jule told me about Moringa and its positive effects. I am not really a person who eats a lot of veggies and fruits. Also i don’t want to swallow some useless pills all the time to get more vitamins. So the idea of just mixing a glass of water with a teaspoon of moringa powder everyday sounded tempting to me, especially looking at all the natural ingredients and nutrients. Said and done. I have to admit it does smell like somebody was just mowing the lawn. Well…organic for sure. Adding some water to mix it….but the powder wouldn’t really dissolve in water.
Heute war ich auf der Suche nach einer für mich verbesserten Rezeptur. Ich probierte es mal mit Zitrone und fand die Kombination ganz gelungen. Das Problem mit der Konsistenz habe ich noch nicht gelöst. Aber wozu viel Geld für diese Zahnweiß-Zahncreme ausgeben? Moringa tut es auch 😉
Today I was trying to improve the recipe a little bit by literally spicing it up. I tried to add a bit of lemon juice and found this mix pretty good. Only the “problem” of the powder not dissolving in water I still couldn’t solve. But well…making the best of it. Why wasting lots of money on this special whitening toothpaste? Moringa does the deal as well 😉
Seit heute trinke ich meinen Moringa-Trank immer morgens nach dem Aufstehen. Und was soll ich sagen? Ein bisschen fitter und wacher fühlt man sich schon. Gewappnet für den Tag.
From today on I will drink my moringa drink straight after waking up in the mornings. What can I say? I feel a bit fitter and more awake already. Ready to face the day.
Ab heute gibt’s das Moringa-Pulver immer zusammen mit Multivitaminsaft – meine absolute Lieblingskombination. Probiert es mal aus! Sieht zugegebenermaßen etwas gewöhnungsbedürftig aus, schmeckt aber super.
Today I tried to mix the moringa powder with multivitamin juice. From now on I will always drink it like that – my absolute favourite mix. Try it! It does look a bit weird. But believe me it tastes great.
Ein Glas Saft mit Moringa nach dem Sport ist die beste Erfrischung und gibt dem Körper einiges an Kraft und Nährstoffen zurück.
A glass of juice mixed with moringa powder right after doing sports simply is the best refreshment. Your body will get back some strength and lots of nutrients.
Jule und ich versuchen jetzt regelmäßig joggen zu gehen. Heute war wieder einer dieser Tage, fast 6km geschafft. Das hätte ich mir vor ein paar Wochen auch nicht träumen lassen. Nachdem der Selbstversuch von Innen heraus ja schon perfekt funktioniert hat, wollte ich das Pulver heute mal äußerlich ausprobieren. Also rührte ich mir mit kaltem Wasser eine Moringamaske an. Hierbei muss man besonders darauf achten, dass die Maske die richtige Konsistenz hat – das ist sehr wichtig! (Zum Glück haben wir das bei Jule zu Hause probiert und ich musste hinterher nicht sauber machen.) Es war ein wahres Ereignis, die kühlende Maske direkt nach dem Sport auf das Gesicht aufzutragen. Nachdem die Maske ein wenig angetrocknet war, entfaltete sie einen unglaublich angenehmen Peelingeffekt (da seht ihr’s, die Probleme des Unterrührens ins Wasser haben hier halt auch Vorteile)! Anschließend habe ich die Maske mit reichlich klarem Wasser abgewaschen. Das Ergebnis ist umwerfend: Die Haut ist geglättet, seidig-zart und jugendlich frisch. 😉
Nowadays Jule and me try to go running regularly to keep fit. Today has been one of those days. And hey, I managed almost 6km. If you had told me this a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have believed it. Since my self-experiment worked well in the inside I thought I could apply moringa on the outside as well. So I mixed some moringa powder and cold water to a Moringa poultice. It is very important that its consistency is like a smooth paste. (Luckily we did try all that at Jule’s place and I didn’t have to clean up afterwards.) It truely was an interesting event to apply the cooling poultice to my face right after coming back from running. After the poultice had dried a bit a real pleasant peeling effect was noticeable (see…what seems a bit disturbing while drinking the powder definitely has its advantages here now!). After a few minutes I simply washed it of with clear water. And the result is magnificent: the skin is smooth like a baby’s buttocks, silk-soft and juvenilely fresh 😉
Well…you can see…Moringa is fun! Thank you Nora for writing that little diary! 🙂
If any of you guys is interested in trying some 100% organic Moringa powder, grown on our very own Planting A Future plantations, please feel free contact us and we will arrange things.
Do you remember the story about the little man, Obdu?
Well…we are happy to let you know that we did recieve some money for him and his family. That way we were able to buy some baby milk (or rather the powder for preparing baby milk) for Obdu’s little brother Mukuwa.
In behalf of Obdu, Mukuwa, their family and the whole Planting A Future team we would like to thank you! Love without boarders!
Dry Season…it truely is a challenge for all of Africa. Now, Chinkonono Village, is no exception from the rule. We do struggle a lot this year. The rivers are almost dried out.
So our only chance to get water for our community, cooking, washing, watering our plants and seedlings is digging wells and going to boreholes far away. Our women sometimes walk hours with huge containers of water balancing on their heads.
Luckily we do have borehole at Singwamba School. It is “only” about 6km away…that is not far, you think? Well…consider that most people do not have access to a car or ox cart and have to walk this distance…multiple times per day.
Well…and also we do have a construction site and as you might know, building needs water too. So just check out how we get water there 😉
But sometimes…sometimes fate strikes us and we can not use the borehole at Singwamba School. That means we have to go to Sinsimuka for water. And that is about 25km away from Chinkonono…
See all that? Well..you probably now understand why one of our top priorities at the moment is to raise funds to drill our own borehole for the community center! Keep your fingers crossed that we will achieve that goal soon. If you want to support us by donating some money for the borehole, please contact us! Thank you so so much!
When I recieved this story from Lloyd it got me thinking. Aren’t we all humans? Why do people get looked at or chased away or treated differently because of disabilities? Please take 5 minutes to read it. It is very touching and sad…
This is a very sad story about a little girl named Memory. Her family lives 2 houses away from PAF Community Center and thus is my neighbour.
As it is very often with girls from vulnerable families, Memory’s mother was married off at 15 years. A year later Memory was born and all seemed well.
But as months went by Memory’s agemates began to sit and crawl about but Memory couldn’t do either. All she did was lie on her mat and watched her peers play.
At the age of three it became obvious that there was a serious problem with her. She was taken to various hospitals and traditional doctors but her condition did not change.
This made relatives edgy and all sorts of accusations flew around until Memory and her mom were chased from home. Memory and her mom are now in Chinkonono and are being looked after by the girl’s father.
The family still hides the girl from the community because people are still afraid when others are different or sick. I told them to bring her outside so she can live like us all. Memory needs special attention from physiotherapists. She can not walk, neither does she sit and crawl properly. She’s only 3 years old and chances of getting better are high.
All that being said we can only ask you to keep this little lady in your thoughts. It is a tough fate. Her family has no financial means to properly help her and afford the medical treatment she needs. If you guys want to support Memory and her mom please don’t hesitate to contact us! It is not too late…together we can still change Memory’s life and bring the smile back on her cute little face.
You know we do offer a school sponsorship programm. Even though Memory is still too young for school she does need special attention and a sponsor so we can arrange medical treatment for her. Also in just a little while she will be old enough for pre-school. But as things are now, she will not be able to attend. Please think about it and lets change a child’s life!