Christmas in a Zambian Village

World over, despite different faith and beliefs, Christmas is a family reunion time.

After the generous donation from RotB in 2015 when we celebrated Christmas for the first time…this year should be very special for Chinkonono kids as this Christmas was for them.

Thanks to our German Mama Africa Bruni we could buy a lot food and even some sweets in 2016 again. About 900 Kwacha were spent on food and drinks. We bought rice, sugar, flour, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, biscuits, one goat and three chickens.

Our ladies spent hours and hours stirring the pots and cooking. What a feast that was. So much meet and different kind of dishes. A truely great day for everyone!

Wesley surprised everyone by homemade bread and buns.

He even created his masterpiece: the Christmas Bread. Cool, huh?

Wesley's masterpiece
Wesley’s masterpiece

All Chinkonono kids were present: In total 145 kids took part in the feasts. These kids were coming from PAF and non-PAF households.

If you think that was all…well, there were also those yummy Vinkubala that the kids love so much. Not an everyday snack.

Digging in
Digging in

The festivities were punctuated by music and dance, lots of jokes and laughter. You can imagine what a party that was and how many sparkling eyes and bright smiles you could see 🙂

In the past Christmas went by without people in the village taking part because it was impossible to celebrate due to lack of food.

All this was possible after PAF members in Germany took it upon themselves to bring joy and make Chinkonono celebrate the birth of Jesus together with the rest of the world.

Merry Christmas from PAF :)
Merry Christmas from PAF 🙂 And Twalumba, Bruni!
Christmas in a Zambian Village

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 😉 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! 🙂

A Long-Awaited Visitor ;)

Candy Crush?

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.
A pot of sugar
A pot of sugar
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 😉
Kennedy checking if the consistency is alright yet
Kennedy checking if the consistency is alright yet
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.
Heating it up again to make the tubes
Heating it up again to make the tubes
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.
Everyone was watching and interested
Everyone was watching and interested
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.
——-
Deutsche Version!
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.
Candy Crush?

The PAF Warriors on the March

Für die Deutsche Version nach unten scrollen!

Football makes the world go round. Even more so for the people in Chinkonono. They struggle everyday with drought, hard work, no money, no infrastructure and health issues like HIV and malnutrition. They just need and crave for a little distraction of their everyday lives.
The football pitch...
The football pitch…
Basically everyone in the village just loves football. And whenever our PAF warriors have a home game at the pitch next to PAF Center the whole village gathers to cheer for the boys. Even if it is just practice people come to watch.
The crowd (and Julie) watching the match
The crowd (and Julie) watching the match
And when the packages from Australia arrived that Andrew and Niki sent us the joy was huge. It is wonderful to see how proud our PAF Warriors and Eaglets walk out on the pitch now, wearing their new uniforms.
Proud Warriors! :)
Proud Warriors! 🙂
Of course we had to take some new team photos for the Warriors! Check that!

You can really feel their new selfconfidence now.

No wonder they scored and won against a much stronger Mguba Team. 😉
Just look at this video! There are some very skilled boys in that team. And Lloyd’s son Junior looks very promising.
The excitement in the village is just incredible. Check out what happened after Nestor scored a goal! It is crazy house 😉
It makes everyone smile to see such joy. Thanks again for everyone helping out so that those guys can play football! It really makes a difference for people in Chinkonono!
Deutsche Version:
Das Runde muss ins Eckige. Solange der Ball rund ist, ist alles in Ordnung. So oder so ähnlich könnte auch das Motto der Menschen in Chinkonono lauten.
Ein Großteil der Menschen dort führt ein hartes Leben, Trockenheit, Wassermangel, harte Arbeit, keine Kohle, keine Infrastruktur, keine Jobs, HIV und Mangelernährung. Logisch, dass sich jeder dort nach Abwechslung und Ablenkung vom Alltag sehnt.
Jeder im Dorf liebt Fußball, Klein und Groß, Jung und Alt. Wann immer unsere PAF Warriors ein Heimspiel haben und sich auf dem Fußballplatz direkt neben unserem PAF Center zusammentreffen, strömen die Dorfbewohner in Richtung des runden Leders um die Jungs anzufeuern. Selbst zum abendlichen Training kommen die Fußballverrückten und es herrschft Partystimmung 😉
Als dann die Pakete von Andrew und Niki aus Australien in Chinkonono ankamen, war die Freude natürlich riesig. Es ist wunderbar zu sehen,wie stolz unsere PAF Warriors und Eaglets seitdem aufs Feld laufen und allen ihre neuen Trikots präsentieren.
Natürlich mussten wir erstmal ein paar vernünftige Mannschaftsfotos der Warriors machen als Jule da war.
Das neue Selbstvertrauen, das sie auch durch die neuen Trikots bekommen haben, ist mehr als offensichtlich. Kein Wunder, dass sie gegen das viel stärkere Team aus Mguba gewonnen haben. 😉
Schaut euch einfach mal das Video an um einen kleinen Eindruck zu bekommen. Unsere PAF Warriors spielen in Orange 😉
Und Fun Fact: Lloyd’s Sohn Junior ist wirklich ein vielversprechendes Talent. Man kann nur hoffen, dass er bald entdeckt wird.
Die Begeisterung im Dorf ist wirklich unglaublich. Guckt mal, was passiert ist, nachdem Nestor (Lloyd’s ältester Sohn) das Siegtor geschossen hat. Das nenn ich mal echte Fans 😉

Müsst ihr auch grinsen, wenn ihr solche Bilder seht? Ich kann mir nicht helfen. Aber es macht mich glücklich, das zu sehen. Nochmals vielen Dank an alle Spender, die es unseren Jungs ermöglichen Fußball zu spielen! Solche Dinge machen die kleinen, aber feinen Unterschiede im Leben der Menschen in Chinkonono aus.

The PAF Warriors on the March

Feels like Championsleague now! ;)

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.

The Planting A Future Warriors :)
The Planting A Future Warriors 🙂

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.

What Andrew planned to send us...so awesome :)
What Andrew planned to send us…so awesome 🙂

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 😉

Andrew :)
Andrew 🙂

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.

Niki :)
Niki 🙂

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 😉

DHL packing the boxes...sooooo exciting!
DHL packing the boxes…sooooo exciting!

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.

So happy when Lloyd finally got the boxes :)
So happy when Lloyd finally got the boxes 🙂

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!

Feels like Championsleague now! ;)

No looking back? Well…we do a bit :)

Planting A Future is such an amazing project. And it is growing so fast. So many things we need to do and that we want to do. Sometimes it is hard to focus on our running project so as to finish those before starting the next thing 😉

Our achievements are overwhelming at times. Especially for people in Chinkonono Village and for Lloyd. He sat down and wrote a nice review of the past 6 and a bit months. Please take a few minutes to read what he has to say!


As we enter the second quarter of this year lets take while to look back at awe-inspiring moments and events! 🙂
A lot has happened to PAF, both locally and internationally, and at times these incidents, events and moments have left most of us speechless and in awe. In other words these have jolted us out of the ordinary into the extraordinary and brought us to a better understanding of humanity, without the usual facade of race, religion, culture, ethinicity, tribe and social class. It showed us that humanity is just one big family.
To everyone who has been following the developments at PAF it is evident that like-minded people from all over the world have made so much sacrifice to bring a smile or change the lives of Chinkonono people for the better. All this has been done while the world is groaning under the global financial meltdown, terrorism, refugee crisis and climate changes.
There were many awe-inspiring moments and it is impossible to highlight all of them. Everyone of them made PAF what it is today.

  • While we were struggling with resources to put basic stuff together, a dying man requested his family not to buy flowers for his wreaths but to give the money to PAF so that we could buy the materials for the greenhouse. We will always remember you. May you rest in peace! Thank you so much to Baumschule Bösl!
  • Under very difficult financial challenges our friends from Repairer Of The Breach bought the village women sewing machines and fabrics and Bruni donated money to construct the first building of our community center that now houses a sewing room and library.
  • Bruni, for the second time, visited Zambia to check on PAF activities, live in the village so as to understand village challenges and learn the lives of the people. It is during this visit when PAF became an NGO with structured activities. More info, the statute and membership forms will be online soon!
  • Our friend Murray from Australia organised for books for our village kids. This was achieved at great financial cost and sacrifice from a lot of people in Australia.
  • PAF recieved breadfruit seedlings for the second time. Our partners at the Breadfruit Institute in Hawaii together with Global Breadfruit and Cultivaris donated trees as a christmas gift to the village. This was such a great surprise as we did not expect any seedlings due to the challenges we had faced the first time we were given seedlings.
  • The ladies of Repairer Of The Breach also donated money for a christmas feast to the village. This has been unprecedented. Never in the history of the village has everyone come together to celebrate christmas. Only a couple of families used to do it while the rest of the village had no food due to lack of money and food.
  • We are also setting up our school sponsorship programme to help vulnerable families pay for their kids’ school fees and thus give them a chance to get education. The first kids already found sponsors. Please contact us for further information if you are interested to change a child’s life!
Little James recieving money from his sponsor to go to school
Little James recieving money from his sponsor to go to school

These are some of the events which will remain in the mind of the village and PAF members for a lifetime. These have shown the world that love has no boundaries.
On behalf of PAF I thank everyone who has made PAF what it is today. The story of this success will be incomplete without Patrick Thompson, Jacqueline Mapande, Stan Watt, Murray Quant, Diane, Garry, Amy, Josh, Blair and all the rest of our well wishers… THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

No looking back? Well…we do a bit :)

A Visit in Chinkonono Village

Whoa…now look at that!!! Somebody made a new photo slideshow of Bruni’s visit and impressions of Chinkonono Village, PAF activities and the warmth and joy of our Zambian community!

 

Check the slideshow to get a glimpse of what Bruni experienced and of what is going on for Planting A Future with the new breadfruit seedlings, the first building of our new community center, the first moringa harvest, our village primary school and all our lovely PAF members 🙂

It is definitely worth 9 minutes of your time…we will take you on a little break from reality and invite you to join us in the middle of nowhere, far away from all stress and hectic.

Now lean back and enjoy! 🙂

Please share if you like what you see! Spread the word!

A Visit in Chinkonono Village