Our new Centre in Chiringa
A big “thank you” to all who specifically donated towards building our new Centre enabling us to to better serve the rural communities. It was good to have reserved funds for this purpose, and not have to struggle diverting resources from other projects. Receiving notice from our current landlord made things urgent, but the relaxed concept of “African time” often collided with our organised English mindset! The move between sites was fraught with logistical challenges as we tried to balance costs, time frames, and our desire to serve the poor.
But despite all the frustrations and difficulties, gradually something amazing rose out of the chaos. We recycled nearly all of the materials from the old site, not only to save cost, but also, as deforestation is going to become a major problem, we didn’t want to further deplete tree stocks.
Josh helps demolish the old female goat khola - we recycled everything we could to use on the
Developing a new Centre “on a shoestring” was, and still is, a constant challenge - priorities had to be clearly identified, plans flexible enough to be amended, but rigid enough to set standards. But, as the land is now ours, we can plan long-term and every improvement we make will increase our effectiveness in the vulnerable communities. We’ll be able to grow and store more crops in-house for distribution to the needy, and continue to expand our dairy herd of goats to provide more highly nutritious milk for those at risk
Water for building had to be carried either from the river till it dried up, or from the nearest
Carpenters make the doors for the house behind the mango trees.
On the left is the rear of the Male Goat Khola - three individual units
The female Goat Khola, behind the wall, is divided into nine partitions with a temporary milking station, in use until we are able to build the Dairy Unit.
Even though it’s still a bit of a building site, the land is being planted with crops, grazing for the goats, and trees for food, fuel and composting - particularly lucaena and moringa - which will also feature heavily on our new land further south in Muona, Nsanje.
The inner walls are part-plastered for hygiene, and the floor slopes slightly for water runaway when cleaning. (Eric - our builder - loves to have his photo taken!)
This is page 3 Autumn trip 2008