FAQs ..... Why “Open Hand Projects”?
FAQs ..... Any technology in the bush?
Not the impressive kind usually associated with Africa - plenty of bugs in the rainy season, vibrantly coloured lizards, birds and alarmingly, an increase in dangerous snakes!
FAQs..... Any wild animals in Chiringa?
In the rural areas, most are mud brick with several small rooms, a window and a grass roof - corrugated iron roofing is a rare luxury, as is a cement floor. Usually no water, electricity, toilet or cooking facilities inside
FAQs ..... What are homes like
in the bush?
(Frequently asked questions)
Bricks are made locally from mud and burnt for longevity. Mud is packed into a frame, then the bricks are piled into a solid haystack-shaped structure with holes running though the base, and covered with mud. These passageways are filled with wood and set alight. After smouldering for a few weeks, the heat turns the black mud into the orange/red bricks we’d recognise.
Hunger is widespread, particularly during the period from Christmas till March, when the new maize harvest is expected.
These are water lily bulbs - what many Malawians were reduced to eating during the hunger season. About the size of chestnuts, people dive into the Shire River to collect these, among equally hungry crocodiles.....
In the past we’ve also heard of people eating tree bark and grass....
Electricity supply is unreliable and hard to connect.
On our site, refrigeration is our main concern - keeping hard-to-get-hold-of veterinary drugs cool enough when the power is out, and not being able to plan frozen milk storage
“Aid Africa” was the name used for a tiny fundraising effort in the UK before
we had even visited Malawi.
On arrival, amidst the dire poverty, “Aid Africa” sounded patronising,
so we adopted the name “Open Hand Projects” - the open hand being a significant reminder of our desire to encourage sharing with others in this highly dependent society.