Greenhouse 4.0

You guys all know that PAF basically started with planting fruit trees and handing thm out to people in need. Of course back then we set up a greenhouse to protect the saplings. This one was, how can I say…quite improvised and by far too small for our needs.

So one of our major goals for 2018 was to get a better and bigger greenhouse, and have it close to PAF Center.

All that is easier said than done. A lot of research was needed on how to construct the new one, what kind of shade netting to get, what kind of poles etc. … Wesley and the guys have been running up and down to get the necessary info and samples of the materials.

So now the construction of our new PAF greenhouse has started. This time it is supposed to be much longer lasting and more professional.

That’s why we had our personal super pro advicers around at all times:

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Our gang of young consultants looking smart πŸ˜‰

As usual we used our Zambian ways of doing things. Lets say you wanna bend a pole…well, we have been using a tree to do so:

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Bending the poles

 

Or drilling a whole into one of the poles…easy with the right equipment. We only had a hammer:

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Drilling holes Zambian style

 

Or lets see how we cut the poles:

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Cutting the poles Zambian style

 

After all that it took a massive amount of hard work and even more teamwork. Everybody helped cementing the foundations of the poles, puzzling all the pieces together and last but not least painting the poles in a stylish green and grey colour.

The only thing missing now is the shade netting. We will soon update you on this matter. Pinky Promise πŸ˜‰

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Greenhouse 4.0

Zambian Mall, our PAF Shop

You know the deal. You are home and feel like eating that special fruit or chocolate or you realize you forgot to buy soap. What do you do? You just get outside walk or drive a few minutes and get what you need or desire.

Well…it doesn’t really work like that in Zambia. Especially in rural areas like Chinkonono. There is a very small shop in the next village, but honestly speaking…it by far doesn’t have all our villagers need. So the only solution is to go to Kalomo. But the trip to town for groceries takes the whole day and you always have to add transport costs and hope for someone to pass by and take you there.

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Ready to get stocked, our PAF shop

So it makes common sense that PAF is now creating our own grocery shop in the village.Β  What used to be the sewing room will now serve as our own little shop. (This situation is temporary until we have managed to construct another building to move the library there and give the tailoring their own room.)

There was a lot of work to do to actually make that room look like a shop. Sonic, Scout and Wesley have been constructing a counter. Our new carpenter Jonsen has been making some nice shelves. And everybody helped cleaning and painting inside. All that took our PAF members about 3 days. Congrats, guys! You did a great job. Thank you so much for all your hard work you put in!

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PAF power πŸ™‚

 

Check the making of the counter:

 

But also the shelves needes some fixing:

 

Finally finishing up with the last strokes:

Now we are trying to come up with a smart way get the initial kickstart for stocking up with useful and desired items. Very soon our little shop will be running. A lack of soap, salt, matches and basic stationary items will be a thing of the past.

And who knows…maybe we will also offer some sweets for the kids and some cakes and other “luxury” items as well…I hear the birds tweeting such sweet rumours alreaedy πŸ˜‰ We will keep you posted and definitely let you all be part of the big opening!

Stay tuned…

Zambian Mall, our PAF Shop

Chinkonono Shopping Mall

You guys all know what it is like: you just feel an itch and wanna go buy some stuff or go window shopping.

All that is impossible in Chinkonono. You eat what you grow, you wear what you sew or can get on rare occasions in town. The next shop is about 6km walking distance away. And you know…the items you buy will have to be carried back home again.

So PAF decided to re-use the sewing room and make it a shop.

Wesley nd the rest of the members kickstarted this whole project. Shelves have now been carpented and will be set up in the next few days.

Once the shop is all set up our members will sell tomatoes and veggies, bread and maybe cake, the clothes and bags we sew. Step by step we will try to widen the range of products. But to do so we need to find out what people are interested in.

Hopefully the shop will attract and draw more people towrds PAF Center. But it certainly will save our villagers lots of time and effort.

Of course using the sewing room is only a temporary solution until we manage to construct another building amd move the library there to seperate it from the buzzing business πŸ˜‰

Chinkonono Shopping Mall

From Bush to Village Center … Our New Latrines

Three years ago Chinkonono had no real center at all. Things and places throughout the village were widely spread and people would only gather at houses to do business. Chinkonono had to rely on other villages and town (Kalomo) for its daily needs. People had to go to Nguba to mill their maize and buy groceries such as salt, sugar and soap. They had to go to town to get their clothes mended and buy fruit tree seedlings.

This drastically changed and is no longer the state of affairs as Planting A Future has shaken things up. We have created a village center where people can access their groceries on PAF market place, mill their maize for little money with our own hammer mill or get their fruit tree seedlings.

Also we now provide instructions on agriculture skills, such as horticulture and gardening. Quite a number of people from Chinkonono and surrounding villages visit PAF Center.

Of course you can imagine that this was impacting the environment negatively and it had prompted PAF management to improve sanitation by constructing toilets, which will be used by both, PAF personell and clients.

So we have been working hard on constructing a building for the toilets, making bricks and plastering.

Of course we wanted to make sure no it looks nice as well, so we had our carpenters make some beautiful wooden doors for us. Check that:

To be precises, we are talking about 2 semi-waterborne latrines with nice porcelain toilet bowl. PAF members will make sure the toilets will be kept maintained and cleaned at all times.

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Wesley in Kalomo, toilet shopping πŸ˜‰

As it always is when guys work hard…they needed some heavy lunch. Now guess what was on the menu! You know it? Nsima sourmilk porridge πŸ˜‰

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Hard work needs some good lunch πŸ˜‰

 

As for now we are only left with finishing the interior and the installing the porceain toilet bowls. The mere existance of those toilets is good news to all visitors and PAF members as no one will seek the sanctuary of an hidden spot with sky view to answer the call of nature πŸ˜‰ And I mean…look it the toilets! Don’t they look awesome? Who wouldn’t wanna go use them? πŸ˜‰

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Our PAF Center toilets

Thanks to all who donated funds and labour towards this very important project!!! πŸ™‚

 

 

From Bush to Village Center … Our New Latrines

PAF Vegetable Garden

As you probably remember we moved our greenhouses to PAF Center a while ago. This turned out to be very convenient for everyone.

Now we decided to try again with a vegetable garden. So we are now planting our veggies and fixing the shade net to our garden. This has been long in the making and is bearing fruit as all materials are available.

 

But don’t think all this has been easy. We used some of the money that PAF raised through donations and the annual fees of our supporting members to buy what was missing. But getting the materials from A to B to Chinkonono was a bit of a struggle. Some of those huge poles had to travel for more than 15km on an ox cart. Hard work.

We are using this project to educate members on effective vegetable farming and flower gardening. Kids and youths from Chinkonono can come to PAF Center and learn how to plant and take care of different types of seedlings and also when and how to harvest and re-plant.

 

Also the garden will be used as a means to raise funds by selling our products at PAF Market. We are planting cabbage, onions, sugar loaf, tomatoes and many other vegetables suitable for the climate and which can be consumed by local people.

PAF Vegetable Garden

A Hammer Mill for Chinkonono

Long time, long time. I know it has been quiet on here. But PAF did not stand still. We were working on a few projects. We have been moving our greenhouses to the PAF Center and we are currently building latrines there.

Also you might have been wondering what we are using the money for that has been donated and that we raise through our supporting members all over the world. Well…our newest “baby” in Chinkonono is a Diesel-powered hammer mill. You can’t imagine what an event it was for people in the village when the mill arrived by truck late at night πŸ˜‰

 

Our staple food in Zambia is Nsima, a thick maize meal porridge. Before it is nsima the maize has to be milled. A 25kg bag of factory milled maize meal costs 65 kwacha (about 7,50 USD) in town. The villagers can’t access this and can’t afford it. So as PAF we didn’t want to be left out.

Hence we bought a hammer mill to mill the village maize and give PAF an income. The maize meal commonly known as hammer mill is a Diesel-propelled machine comprising of two parts, namely the engine and the mill. The engine drives the mill and the hammers strike and crush the maize grains into powder. This powder is our highly treasured mealie meal, which we use to cook the thick porridge and Nsima.

We bought a 20 horsepower machine at 16,500 kwacha (about 1,900 USD). That might sound like a lot of money. But doing the easy math it will be worth it and make life much easier. There was no hammer mill in the village or anywhere close by. Hence woman had to walk to other, far away villages to have their maize milled. Β Each 15kg of maize will be milled at 5 kwacha. Our target is to raise 250 kwacha (about 29 USD) each day.

 

That way it is much more convenient for the women because no more walking far distances. Also milling it in the village is cost effective and makes it much easier for us to enjoy our beloved nsima.

I bet you want to see the mill running, don’t you? Check that:

From the proceeds we will be able to raise money to build our library and conference hall, meet running logistics and sponsor one or two kids.Β The milling will also provide employment for one boy and will shorten walking distances for everyone.

But of course you can’t have that mill just standing around like that. Even in Chinkonono that is not possible. That’s why we decided to construct a building to house the mill. And what can I say…our PAF members have been working hard and are almost done with it now:

 

So you see…things are moving for Chinkonono and PAF. Thank you so much to our supporting members and donors all over the world! You guys really make a change in people’s lives! πŸ™‚

A Hammer Mill for Chinkonono