Hello from the cold climate of Smiths Falls, not the Warm Heart of Africa!...
At a time when the broader area that I (Cheryl) live (also near where the Canadian FVM office is located) is dealing with the devastation of floods, homes and property being damaged and people being displaced, I think back to the last few years in Malawi and how in January 2015 devastating flood waters destroyed many homes, claimed lives and rendered many villages without food as the crops for that season were destroyed. Last year, just as we had here, was a year of drought, and again crops were lost and villagers left without food to feed their families. We don't understand these things and why they happen, but we can just trust that it's in God's hands.
However, our FVM family in Malawi can praise God that this year conditions have been more favourable for growing crops...please continue reading for more information.
Soybeans & Nandolo Seed Multiplication Initiative
In this initiative, FVM distributes the seeds for soybeans and cow peas (nandolo) to villagers. Nandolo and soybeans are both leguminous crops very rich in protein. Soybeans when fortified with corn is made into Likuni Phala which is very rich in all the six food groups thereby facilitating the physical and mental development of children. Nandolo is also given to children together with either rice or nsima (maize flour dough). This is initiative is aimed at empowering the community in order to be able to provide for their children in the future. This one of the community ownership and sustainability strategies. The past three years of farming seasons have not been favourable so the initiative is yet to produce the intended results.
This year, it is encouraging to note that it seems more than 80% of those who got the seeds will be able to get more yield, give back to the child centre and remain with some to feed their families.
The major challenge to farming this year was the insects like ants and worms which devastated some crops. The ants cut off the plant from down while the worms eat the stem, especially of maize crop. Please continue to pray for a good yield of crops for this season.
Some highlights of the last month...
- FVM bought five bicycles for five workers at the FVM Mulunguzi House (pictured above). These are the people who take care of the house and the visitors who lodge in the house while visiting Malawi. The bicycles will allow for greater mobility to and from work.
- FVM participated in the Student Christian Organization of Malawi (SCOM) Conference where more than 1,000 secondary school students participated for three days. Young people get lessons and counselling in the areas of academic excellence, HIV/AIDS, same sex marriage issues among other topics. (Pictured below right)
- Academic excellence awards were awarded to two SCOM members who did exceptionally well on their examinations in the past year. FVM has been doing this for nine years now to join SCOM in motivating young Christians in their educational achievements. (One award recipient pictured below left)
- There was an open air gospel outreach where the good news was preached to the people.
There was a two-day Tailoring Training at Taulo Village where 24 people were trained, of which 75% were women. The women have shown great enthusiasm and there has been seen encouraging progress in the development of tailoring skills in the areas of making basic shirts, trousers and dresses. The objective of these training sessions is to empower women with skills in home craft that would make them participate in household and community economic development through the selling of their products. Soon the training will encompass cookery and home sanitation as well.
- Upcoming eye screenings will take place. Please pray for the doctors and wisdom in treatments and surgeries.
- FVM plans to begin construction of the Nandolo bridge as soon as the end of the rainy season permits in May or June.
Newton Sunday Sindo