Vegetable Field (Shamba) – Mufindi experienced “First Rains” as Geoff Fox, our founder, calls them this time of year, where it rains almost every day, usually in the evening and through the night. This has caused a dramatic increase in weeds in the gardens and a rise in water table in the lower valley garden. The Children’s Village is continuing to grow leafy greens as the main staple vegetable for the children, but there are also beets, tomatoes and strawberries ripening. The avocado trees are also starting to produce this year, however, only 27 out of 100 but still means lots of avocados!
Chicken Project – During holiday break, the children worked very hard in the Work Study program. As part of the two projects, a cement floor was laid down for the chicken coop and covered with sawdust for the chickens. 100 baby chicks were ordered to start up the project again, this time buying “Broilers” as they develop quickly and also lay a high number of eggs. This will allow them to sell some chickens off in 3 months, but keep producing to enable the project to become sustainable within the NGO.
Greenhouse Project – *Michael, our agricultural volunteer, and some of the older boys put 3 truck loads of rich topsoil into the greenhouse. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans were planted and everyone is very excited to be finally using it. This will boost the fresh food available for the Children’s Village and hopefully generate income and also become sustainable. This was all achieved by working a few hours every morning until lunch, the children enjoyed learning with Michael and the garden team to accomplish these two goals. They all did a fantastic job!
The older boys in House No 3 have started their own chicken project by building themselves a chicken banda behind their house. They are learning to care for the chickens, hatching eggs and selling the odd cockerel with a view to boosting their earning skills for their independence etc.
Another individual project by young enterprising, Fanuelle, growing pine trees and vegetables from seed and then selling them to local villagers, he also goes to the monthly travelling market with Joseph, his House Guardian.
*Michael left us at the end of February after a very successful six months, everyone enjoyed his company and learned a lot. He will be missed and wish him well for his future.