Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Crafts and Craft Markets

We enjoyed going to some of the craft markets.
One of them was held every last Saturday of the month at the Dutch Reformed Church Grounds.
Another on the parking lot at one of the Shopping Centers.
Both sold the same kind of things. Bartering was a must.

Lots of wood work.

Mostly necklaces.

Paper Bead Necklaces

Wall Hangings.


Beautiful Fabrics

The writing on the walls

All over the city there are all kinds of advertisements painted on walls.
We do like the one from the Harvey Tiles for roofs the best!
Here are some:

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Trip to Lundazi, in the Eastern Province.

 Mid December, Ad traveled to Lundazi to visit projects of the partner CCAP, Church of Central Africa Presbyterian. Most of the projects are focused on Food Security through improving agriculture. Some people call it Conservation Farming, others call it Farming God's Way, but essentially it is taking care of soil by using manure, compost, and other organic matter to conserve fertility and moisture. According to the farmers groups this technique has eliminated hunger in their villages

Ad meets with a farmers group. The person on the chair is the Chief of the village.

Farmers tending to their "tree nursery"

Traditional Maize Storage "shed".

 Farmer at the right (agriculture volunteer)  shows his cassava tubers.

People are growing maize, cassava, and groundnuts for their families to eat, but they also grow cotton and tobacco as cash crops. CCAP helps them not only improve the soil, but also to try out new crops and small scale irrigation. CCAP trains an agriculture volunteer worker from each village, and also helps the groups to purchase maize hybrid seeds. We met with the participating men and women including the volunteer and the chief of the village to discuss the progress in their projects.

Another Farmers Group

Curious little children like to be in a picture too. 

These three women missed the group picture, but wanted their picture taken too.

Lundazi is more than 700 kilometers from Lusaka, close to the border with Malawi. We stayed there two nights in an old castle. Something I definitely didn't expect in Zambia - a real castle, built by the British during the colonial era. It has been declared a national monument, and is in use as a hotel.

Man made lake next to the Castle.

CCAP Church in Emusa. 

On the way back we saw a lot of people riding bicycles in the city of Chipata. Bicycles are there often used as taxi's.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Nothing more beautiful then Mothers with their Little Ones.

I think that watching mothers with their little ones on the back is the most beautiful sight to be seen.
It is hard to take pictures, most of these are taking from the car. We don't want to be too obvious.
A few times I was able to ask the mother if it was o.k. with her to take a picture.
Taken in Livingstone.

Taken on our way home.

Taken in Ndola, while meeting with a farmers group.

Taken at the Craft Market at the Dutch Reformed Church.

Taken from the car, while driving.

This mother has a small baby on her back. She even has a blanket wrapped around herself to keep the baby warm. Even when it is warm/hot outside, mothers still wrap a blanket around them to keep their little ones warm. That is sacrificial love to me!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Villages of Hope and Chikumbuso.

A  few weeks ago Ad and I visited Villages of Hope.
A project that started by an American a few years ago. The project is located
about an hour North of Lusaka.
I regret not taking any pictures.
Villages of Hope provides orphaned children with quality care, education, Christian discipleship training, vocational training and employment setting in which they can grow and thrive.
They do try to become self sustaining, which is a good thing. The children were placed by
Zambian's Social Services. There are a number of homes on the 230 acres compound, each home is the house for 8 children with a "mother".
It was quite amazing to see what had been accomplished in about 6 years time.
They have cleared land for agriculture, there is a chicken farm, a store, restaurant, hammer mill, where farmers from the surrounding area can come with their corn, sewing project, etc.

Through the founder of Villages of Hope we found out about another church in Lusaka, Lusaka Community Church. Ad and I have been visiting different churches, but not yet this Community Church. We decided to go there the next Sunday.
This was more a church for expetriates, people from South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany.
Through some from this church, I was invited to join a Women's Bible Study, which I have been looking for.
I attended, but this was their last gathering before Christmas, more a social/sharing/prayer time.

The person, a British Lady, who has lived in Zimbabwe for many years, gave me a ride to the Bible Study, and took me to the Chikumbuso Project.

A project in a poor area of Lusaka, especially set up for widows and HIV orphaned children.

This project provides schooling for about 300 orphaned children from around this project.
The children a fed every day. When we got there, Christmas vacation had started, so we did not see any of the children.

Kitchen were the meals are prepared.

The caretakers of these orphans are often the grandmother or widows in this area.
To provide these women with an income, they started a project where they teach them to crochet, using plastic bags ( recycling) to make beautiful bags. Each bag that is sold, the women do get a large percentage. Some money is used to buy supplies. 

They also started a sewing project for "youth at risk" in the same area. They have been working with about groups of 20 mostly girls, recently they also took in some boys. They have been getting orders from businesses in Lusaka.
The things they are making did look pretty good, bags, clothing etc.

And they opened a kitchen and trained some youth in baking. They do get daily orders from the "Blue Moon Cafe", a small restaurant. Some of the youth were offered a job in a restaurant.

As we walked into the kitchen it smelled very good. They had chocolate cakes in the oven.

It was nice to see something positive going on, and to see some more in Lusaka.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Trip to Ndola

On Wednesday, Ad and I traveled to Ndola, a town in the Northern part of Zambia, very close to the border of the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).
We were going to visit a project from the RCZ, Reformed Church of Zambia, which is one of CRWRC's partners. Reverend W. Zulu introduced us to the project.

We drove for about 3 hours on a very nice paved road, and then turned of on dirt roads to the first community.
RCZ works with 5 communities in that area, mainly Food Security Programs.
Each community consists of a Farmers group of 100 Farmers, about 2/3 of each group are women.
As we arrived at the first community, Mkulounge, the farmers present stood up and sang and danced a welcome song. Quite humbling.
The facilitator, Mr. Banda, introduced us to the group and then we were asked to introduce ourselves.

The president of this group, the lady in the picture above, read a report about all the things they have learned and are applying now.
It became apparent that this group of Farmers feels empowered by what they have learned. They have applied many of the techniques.
Some of the other representatives in the group shared what this all means to them and gave testimonies.
* We used to eat once a day, now we have three meals per day.
* We used to have just enough to eat, but now with the surplus that we can sell, we are able to send our
   children to school.
* There is no hunger in this area anymore.

This group of Farmers was also given a few goats. Whenever these goats get kids, more members of the group will receive a goat. 

The community of Kavu shared basically the same things, but some members in this group have chosen a pig instead of a goat.
Besides educating in farming skills, they also would like to get some training in primary health care, to better take care of their families and a literacy program for some members in the group.

In the Mkulounge community the members of the Farmers group have been able to save money and together they are now building a storage shed.
One man told us with enthusiasm that they are building it together, they even made the bricks for the building themselves.

This group has also been able with the saved money to have a small business, they buy and sell fish!
It is amazing to see and hear that with some training and guidance  and very hard work, these communities are able to improve their conditions. 
At the end of the afternoon we visited an urban community, Mackenzie.
The situation for this group is much more complicated, since the members of this group don't own land, but are trying to rent. The conditions are difficult.
Ad suggested that they focus on urban agriculture, and micro-credit for trading.
They shared though, that their hart is in farming.

                     This cute little child peaked over the wall as we met with the group in Mackenzie.

All in all it was a very encouraging day.
On our way home we stopped along the way and bought some fruits and veggies from sellers along the road :) The umbrella made us chuckle.