Away from trees we are going to build a sewingroom and community library.
The sewing room is meant for people in the village who area already doing tailoring. That way we can provide a location for women especially to sew and tailor for their families and also for selling clothes on the market. We have recieved 400 Euros from our german volunteers to purchase basic building materials.
Also our partner organisation ROTB donated 260 US dollars to purchase second hand sewing machines. Those will be traditional sewing machines that work without power because that is a whole different chapter in Zambia 😉
We are also building a library for village kids and general population. It will provide kids with books to help them learn better and of course some story books to help develop creativity and fantasy. The library will also have books for adults about topics such as farming, tailoring, general knowledge and news…probably some good novels too. This way we also aim to help adults learn how to read and improve their english skills. Thanks to our generous friend Murray from Australia in a few months we will have the first load of books. He asked local schools and his friends to donate books…huge success. 🙂
And of course we are still working hard on our community veggie garden.
You see…big plans for the next few months 😉 There is alot to do still and all likers of our page, sympathisers, wellwishers, donors, friends and even critics are welcome to give suggestions on how we can help the community better. Also if you want to support us with donations of any kind…we are grateful and humbled.
Thanks everyone. It is love without borders indeed.
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…
As you all know we are busy preparing for the Provincial Agriculture Show in Livingstone next week. This is a real challenge because we need to do it more professionally than before.
So Bruni and Julie had banners printed for us and sent us a package from Germany. Not only did they send us the 2 banners.
We also got white shirts and name tags for the people representing Planting A Future at the shows.
But that was by far not everything. When Lloyd went to Kalomo to pick up the package he was surprised to find lots of little gifts inside…such as books for the school and reading room, pens, drinking bottles, toys, stickers, a rubber ducky…
You can probably imagine how fast the word was spread. All the kids were so happy and fell in love with the stickers. Sparkling eyes wherever you turned…like the the stars of milky way on a clear night! Check that out 😉
Baby Joy also found a new friend…a little monkey 🙂
The whole Planting A Future Family says THANK YOU to Bruni and Julie for all those surprises and of course the banners. Lots of kids went to bed with bright smiles on their faces! 🙂
And finally it happened: Our friend Bruni from Germany came to visit Zambia and Planting A Future. Lloyd took the time and wrote this wonderful little text about her vist:
One cold June morning a pupil came to me and said ”teacher, I have to go back home and see if dad is awake now”. I stopped marking the register and looked at the shabbily dressed and frail looking boy. It wasnt strange to hear him say this or feign sickness so that he could go back home pick an empty sack and go into the bush to collect monkey oranges for his lunch and supper. But this time instead of the usual mischievous glint in his eyes they were filled with tears. This puzzled me and to avoid a scene I allowed him to go. Two hours later the boy came back and told me his dad was still asleep but in the same position he had found him eighteen hours ago. This got me worried as I knew the bad health the man was experiencing. He was on TB treatment and I had often driven him to the clinic. The man was on Anti Retro Viral drugs due to his HIV positive status and instinct told me he was dead. With a two men we went to the boys home and found the man dead. The boy was too young to notice it but the man had been dead for close to twenty hours.
It was a sad site. The man was lying on the bare ground with a tattered blanket nearby. A few cobs of maize where the only hint of food.
It was obvious the man had died of ARV poisoning due to lack of food.
A lot of people have died in a similar way and from what i knew many more were going to be killed due to lack of food while on anti retro viral therapy.
It is this incident which spurred me to embark on a quest for a food source which was reliable and easy to grow.
A year later after a long battle to obtain permission to import breadfruit seedlings my friend from Germany, Juliane Friedrich, understood the challenges Zambian villages were facing. In Octobre 2014 Julie handcarried 150 breadfruit seedlings into the country.
This was the birth of Planting A Future.
The Friedrich family, mother and daughter, saw the challenges I was facing in terms of keeping the trees alive as there was no water. The two embarked on fundraising in order for us to acquire irrigation equipment such as a pump and tank, nursery shelter and fencing.
After a long struggle our partners in Germany managed to raise 3.500 Euros and sent it to us so that we can buy the required equipment and materials.
On June 9th Bruni Friedrich, one of the German ladies behind fundraising and technical aspect of our project, arrived in Zambia and visited us for a few days. Time was short, but a very good experience for everyone involved.
Bruni wanted to see what was happening on the ground and meet members of the group.
We launched the water system with a little opening ceremony, we inspected the new nursery shelter, we visited households we are supporting and had discussions on challenges we are facing now and way forward. A lot of work still needs to be done to make the project self-sustaining and reach as many people as possible.
One new aspect that Planting A Future is now facing is to start a community garden where we can grow vegetables for sale and also plant more trees for sale. Luckily enough our generous donor from Baumschule Bösl gave us about 5kg of different veggie seeds to make a start. Bruni took a lot of time and explained how to plant them, how to raise them and take care of the plants. She also explained how to eat some of the veggies since some of them were new to us. Also we agreed to collect the seeds those veggies will bring so we can grow more plants next year again.
Another idea that came up is the prospect of expanding the project so that it can be some kind of resource centre for anyone intending to learn about breadfruit and permaculture.
Bruni’s visit was an eye opener to us and to her.
Meeting Bruni was like meeting an old friend. She just clicked into our way of doing things as if she had lived in an African village her entire life. Bruni’s natural attitude surprised many people who are used to seeing European visitors keep to themselves and do thier own thing.
Despite some cultural shock she encountered, like the typical cliché role model of wives showing a bit too much respect for their husbands or different foods, Bruni didn’t face any challenges and didn’t require or expect special attention. She lived our life, sang our songs and ate our food.
One amazing thing about her was quickly adapting to using her fingers when eating. She ate vegetables with groundnuts, okra and boiled beans as if they were part of her usual diet.
At night she played with kids, a thing impossible with zambian parents.
Her love for people, nature, food and all aspects of life was a lesson to many of us. In her special way she was teaching us that whatever one had that specific moment was to be cherished.
A lot of things surprised her. Such as walking 10 to 15km for phone network, the bad state of roads and the bad maize harvest.
Bruni was impressed with the passion people had for the project. It was such a wonderful thing for her to see a lot of people coming to fix the water system and not expecting any payment. It amazed her that some were walking 17km everyday to help.
From the love exhibited by all volunteers it was easy to understand why our motto is “Love Without Borders”. Indeed love was evident from the moment of her arrival up to the time she left for the airport.
Her positive impact on the village is evident by people asking when thier mukuwa/muzungu was coming back.
Bruni’s visit helped bring our project into perspective. This will make it easier to provide breadfruit and other tree and vegetable seedlings to vulnerable people. When households grow these trees their food security will be guaranteed and kids will attend school while no one will die of ARV poisoning anymore. We will make nutritious foods like breadfruit and other fruit trees available.
Planting A Future definitely is love without borders. We hope this love will grow round the world and see friends from other countries joining us in planting a future for the next generation.