Not long ago we happily announced the purchase of our new hammer mill. And apparently word about it spread like wildfire in the neighbouring villages. Everyday people from different villages, more or less far away, come to Chinkonono to get their maize milled. They literally line up at PAF Center.
everyday people from different villages come to PAF Center to get their maize milled
PAF now provides services to people from surrounding villages
At the moment we still keep the mill under a temporary shelter made of wood. But the actual building we construct to keep the mill safe will be done soon.
We also found a 20-year-old strong man who will be our PAF miller. His job is to coordinate the usage of the mill and do the milling for people who bring their maize. Also he is responsible to keep the mill safe and working. Now meet our Steven:
So as you can see our mill is milling basically around the clock. That is good for PAF because we can raise some funds for our upcoming and running projects. But mainly we are focused on making life easier for our villagers and the people of the Chinkonono region.
Maize waiting to be turned into mealie meal 😉
Our PAF kids in action
our mill is very busy already
Stay tuned for more updates on what is going on in Chinkonono. There are still big things planned…
You guys probably know that we do have our greenhouse and plantations. Right? Right. Up till the end of 2016 those places were located close to Lloyd’s house as to always have someone to watch over them and make sure our plants and belongings are safe.
Now that we started PAF Community Center the idea came up that it makes sense to move our greenhouse and fields and plantations to the Center grounds.
And guess what? That is exactly what we have been doing in the past weeks. Moving the greenhouse is one thing. But clearing the space for new fields and plantations and preparing those for the new planting season is another.
Working this dry and hard soil is a tough job. Everyone helped with that.
So basically our “garden” has now moved close to PAF center. And to make sure all is safe we had to fence the greenhouse and grounds as well.
As soon as we have solved the issue of securing our belongings at PAF Center we will also move the water tank and pipes and set them up there for irrigation purposes. But for now those remain close to Lloyd’s house to keep them safe.
And now that planting season started we can grow our plants at our PAF grounds. Pretty cool, huh?
So lets just say that things have been moving in Chinkonono 😉
As you all know the main objective of PAF is to promote household food security in Chinkonono and the surrounding villages.
It is in this vein that PAF, with the intention of supplementing members’ effort in securing household food security, embarked on a seed and fertiliser support programme. Eleven members who where willing to take part applied and were given 4.000 Kwacha (roughly 400 Euros) from the PAF bank account. This money was paid to the Ministry of Agriculture under FISP (Fertiliser Support Programme). This is a national programme in which farming inputs are subsidised at fifty percent to enable peasant farmers access farming inputs.
Each of the eleven members got three and half bags of fertiliser and one bag of seeds. Hence each of the beneficiaries are able to grow a hectare of maize. The expected harvest for each beneficiary is 75 to 80 bags of maize. Each of these beneficiaries will pay back 400 Kwacha to the project in May. That way we can already raise the money to attend in programme again end of 2017.
Due to this project plus very good rains Chinkonono village is gearing for a bumper harvest. People will have food to eat and the extra will be sold for soap and salt.
We are really loving without borders thanks to all those who contributed to the success of this fertiliser project by contributions and donations.
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 😉 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 😉 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! 🙂
Für die Deutsche Version bitte nach unten scrollen!
Everybody loves sweets and candy, right? So do the people in Chinkonono. So we invited Kennedy to visit us in the village. Kennedy knows how to make candy. He sells them in villages and in town.
It seemed like a great idea to try and produce sweets to sell at our market soon.
Making sweets is as simple as they are good. All you need is sugar, a few lemons, some food colour (or in our case orange and strawberry flavored powder for water), some cooking oil and a bit of water. Obviously a pot, pan and fire 😉
First of all you put a pot on the fire and heat the sugar and some oil. After a few minutes you add water and the lemon juice and stir a bit. When it is boiling you will see some bubbles and foam.
Kennedy showed us how he knows that the mass is ready to be processed further. He took bits of the foam and put it in the water to check the consistency. I would just burn my hands 😉
While you watch that mass cook you can take some of the flavored powder and mix it with a bit of oil and also heat it till it is a liquid mass.
When the sugar mass is ready you need a greased pan to pour it onto. And then use a spoon to move the mass to not have it stick to the pan.
Once the mass cooled down a bit it takes 2 people to kneed and fold it over and over again. It is beautiful to watch how the colour of the sugar mass changes. It looks like gold in the sunshine.
The next step is to make a big ball of the mass and make small balls of the colored powder. Those you press into the mass and along the ball on 3 sides.
Then it is easy…you just form long threads of the mass, put them on the pan and cut them. Let them cool and tadaaahhh: candy!
Check the video to see the most important steps. It is fascinating to watch.
All our PAF members watched and learned. Even our PAF Warriors showed up to have a look (and taste a candy) before their practice.
We are now thinking of producing sweets like that which contain moringa powder instead of the flavored powder. But for that we will have to wait till we can harvest again. Right now all our Moringa trees are desperately waiting for rainy season 😉
We even sat down to count all the candy we made to figure out how much we could sell them for and how much benefit that would be. And what can I say? It is worth it! 😉
If any of you guys is interested in trying PAF Moringa Sweets made in Chinkonono…let us know. We gladly take orders and produce as soon as we can.
Ob wir es nun zugeben oder nicht…insgeheim lieben wir doch alle Süßigkeiten. Da sind die Menschen in Chinkonono keine Ausnahme. Also haben wir kurzentschlossen Kennedy eingeladen, uns im Dorf zu besuchen und unseren Mitgliedern zu zeigen, wie man Süßigkeiten herstellt. Wäre doch eigentlich auch nicht schlecht, wenn man selbst hergestellte Süßigkeiten auf unserem bald fertig gebauten Markt verkaufen könnte…
Süßigkeiten herzustellen ist wirklich kinderleicht und schmecken tun sie auch. Alles was man braucht sind folgende Zutaten: Zucker, ein paar Zitronen, Lebensmittelfarbe (oder in unserem Fall farbiges Pulver zum Einrühren in Wasser für fruchtigen Geschmack), ein bisschen Öl und Wasser….und natürlich Topf, Blech und Feuer 😉
Als erstes muss das Feuer geschürt werden. Dann werden Zucker und ein bisschen Öl auf dem Feuer erhitzt bis es blubbert und sich eine Art Schaum auf der Oberfläche bildet. Dann gibt man den Saft der Zitronen und ein bisschen Wasser dazu und lässt es weiter köcheln. Zwischendurch hat Kennedy immer mal wieder ein wenig vom Schaum oben abgenommen und im kalten Wasser betrachtet, um die Konsistenz der Masse zu prüfen. Würde ich ja nicht probieren…meine Hände sind nicht feuerfest 😉
Während die Masse so vor sich hinköchelt kann man schon das farbige Pulver mit etwas Öl mischen und dann auf dem Feuer erhitzen bis es eine zähe Masse wird.
Sobald die Zuckermasse die richtige Konsistenz hat wird sie auf ein gut gefettetes Blech gekippt und dann mit einem Löffel bewegt, damit sie nicht festklebt. Sobald die Masse etwas abgekühlt ist, wird sie zu einem großen Ball geformt und dann von 2 Leuten geknetet und gefaltet. Immer und immer wieder. Es ist faszinierend und wunderschön, zu beobachten wie sich die Farbe der Masse ständig verändert und golden im Sonnenschein glänzt.
Die farbige Masse kann nun zu kleinen Bällen geformt und dann längs der Zuckermasse in 3 schmalen Streifen angedrückt werden. Nun muss man eigentlich nur noch die Masse in schlauchförmige Stangen formen und auf dem Blech schneiden. Tadaaahhh: fertige Bonbons!
Schaut euch am besten mal das Video an. Dort sind die wichtigsten Schritte noch einmal zu sehen. Es ist faszinierend, die Herstellung zu beobachten. Kein Wunder, dass so viele unserer PAF Mitglieder zugeschaut haben. Auch die Jungs unserer PAF Warriors haben es sich nicht nehmen lassen, einen Blick (und ein paar Bonbons) vor ihrem abendlichen Training zu erhaschen.
Natürlich haben wir gleich mal alle Bonbons gezählt und durchgerechnet, wieviel Gewinn man theoretisch beim Verkauf erwirtschaften könnte. Es lohnt sich 😉 Momentan denken wir darüber nach, anstatt des farbigen Pulvers auch Moringapulver zu verwenden, um gesündere Süßigkeiten herzustellen. Allerdings müssen wir nun erstmal auf die Ernte warten, denn zur Zeit sehnen sich unsere Moringabäumchen noch nach der Regenzeit 😉
Falls ihr also Interesse an hausgemachten PAF Moringa Sweets habt, lasst es uns wissen. Wir nehmen Bestellungen entgegen und werden dann nächstes Jahr schnellstmöglich produzieren.
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.