In the past few weeks AMPP has been working in partnership with Kusamala (www.kusamala.org) to train apprentices in permaculture and bee-keeping. The Green Stars football team have now been trained in permaculture thanks to your generous donations and are beginning to put permaculture plans in place in their communities, with our ongoing help. Likewise a group of men and women from Kasankha Bay, where AMPP’s main project is based, have been trained in permaculture and two of them are currently taking part in a bee-keeping course.
Effectively what this means is that participants are being given knowledge that will enable them to radically rethink the way that they are producing food, in a country where hunger an malnutrition continue to be a serious problem. Our ongoing support will ensure that they have access to all the tools, seeds and further knowledge that they need to make a success of permaculture in their homes. Permaculture can radically transform people’s homes and lives by providing them with a wide range of different foods, in much higher quantities, with very few if any significant financial inputs.
As Nesta, one of our Kasankha apprentices put it: “Permaculture has opened my eyes and I am now confident that I will be able to provide my family with full food sovereignty”. AMPP will do everything it can to support Nesta and all our other apprentices as they pursue this goal but as Nesta went on to say, there are challenges ahead, not least that of doing something different in a community where everyone knows everyone else’s business. “My biggest fear” she says “is that my neighbours will laugh at me and think me weird because of what I’m doing but it’s ok because I know that if we do this right, they will want to do it too!”
Indeed once the current permaculture designs have proved successful, and we are certain that they will, our plan is to continue expanding in the community as other households show interest. This has already happened without our even trying. Some neighbours have been so inspired by what we have done already that rather than laughing at people like Nesta they have been asking us when we can start work in their homes! Our long term goal is to create a permaculture community showcasing the full potential of permaculture at community level in Malawi.
AMPP is also working on developing markets for community produce and has been researching the potential of Moringa and baobab oil and powder, soap making, honey production as well as other bee derived produce, jams and vegetable production for the local tourist industry. So far so good as interest in our work and our products is high. However, in order to deliver consistent high quality products we need some initial financial backing. For instance right now we would struggle to provide our newly trained bee-keepers with hives, a frustrating situation to be in. With a little help from the general public we could do so much good and set up a system which will ensure financial as well as food sovereignty for some of the most disadvantaged communities in the world.
If you would like to help by making a donation go to: http://www.ampp.org.uk/get-involved/make-a-donation.html
Thank you in advance for your generosity.