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.
transporting these poles for 15km to build our new shade netting
Our PAF kids helping unload the poles
PAF wired 😉
Our PAF members working hand in hand
Setting up the new shade netting
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.
Those little guys are getting a new shelter at PAF Center now
Our PAF Youth learns how to grow and water plants
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.
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 😉
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! 🙂
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:
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!
Water…everybody says it: It is the source of life. But people in the western world so very often take water for granted. Where does it come from? Out of the wall? Well..practically yes…there, in Europe or the US or Australia.
But in Zambia it is not to be taken for granted. Especially in rural areas like Chinkonono Village people depend on rivers, rain season and the mercy of the dry season.
When rivers dry out people use the water they stored by building small dams and digging wells. And then it is all about waiting for the water to seep out of the ground so women can scoop it into their buckets and containers.
Lots of times children accompany their mothers to wait with them. It is a tedious job to fetch water. Multiple times per day. Especially for PAF because we do have to water our seedlings.
And even then…the water our community members get out of the wells or river is contaminated and dirty. So health risks come up and people get sick. But what can you do? People need to drink. So they take whatever bit of water they can get.
Our main objective for the future is to raise enough funds to drill a borehole. That way we can ensure water supply throughout the whole year. It would help our community to have access to drinking water and also to water our seedlings and plants. Another plus would be the fact that people from surrounding villages would come to Chinkonono and we could also try create income by selling veggies and food to them while they wait for water. So a borehole will change a lot for our community.
After the stress of all those agriculture shows now it has been a bit quiet for a while until summer break in Lloyds school. During this time we were thinking about the next steps and new perspectives.
But als we made big progress in planting our communal veggie garden. We started out with some test trials to find out if and how the veggies react to zambian weather…remember, it is winter time there now.
Now have a look at the results:
Grime also went out there to have a look at the garden and was more than happy about the results and how well all the veggies grow already.
Of course we also started to help local women. For example our Planting A Future memvber Mrs Munsaka recived a few packets of seeds. Dont they look healthy and yummy?
We are now making use of the school break to get ready for planting season. So we planted new fruit tree seedlings to provide further schools soon.
Right now we are all working on plans on how to make Planting A Future a self-sustaining Charity and create jobs. One idea is to plant different types of veggies like cowpeas or carrots or maize and give seeds to people to grow them in our behalf. So you see, we have a lot planned for the future. We are just trying to figure out on how best to do all those things 😉
But for now we urgently need to find a way to drill a borehole so we can improve irrigation and water all our plants.