Farm Stew Planters Training at Balm of Hope Rehabilitation Centre – Chaisa Ward, Lusaka

Nov 7, 2022 | Reports

31st October – 4th November 2022

1. 0 Background

  • Lusaka has seven (7) Constituencies comprising low, medium, high and very high density areas.
  • Our area of focus is the 2nd largest Constituency called MANDEVU which is situated in the north east of the city and made up of seven Wards with planned areas and sixteen unplanned or Informal areas. The unplanned, very high density areas are called Compounds. Our specific area of focus is one of these areas called CHAISA WARD
  • Typical of all unplanned very high density areas is the prevalence of many social ills associated with unemployment, the lack of a drainage system, the spread of diseases outbreaks (such as cholera) especially during the rainy season, the high rate of Hiv/Aids, widespread substance abuse, early pregnancies and early marriages, the discrimination of people with chronic diseases and with disabilities and the total lack of planned neighborhoods.
  • Every part of the RECIPE for Abundant life in the Farm Stew program would be necessary in an environment such as this area which is typical of the rest of the high density informal unplanned areas of Lusaka.
  • The challenges of space availability (approx. 156 people per Ha) do not negate the possibilities of positive changes that can be obtained through simple and sustainable practices introduced to the majority of people living in abject poverty
  • In-spite of the lack of land for the growing of crops there is commonly a reasonable amount of space to develop Door-Step gardens as an example.
  • This Training has been done to a select group of people dedicated to doing something tangible in the Communities the either live in or next to, to be Farm Stew Planters and Agents of Change in a vast vineyard that is waiting to be entered and the best way to do this, is in the heart of the areas where these interventions are needed most, where the lives of many, many are resigned to hopelessness.

2.0 Training

2.1 Farming (Theory & Practicals)

MORNING THEORY & AFTERNOON PRACTICALS

(NOTE-The approach to the methods of Farming were adjusted to accommodate the environment and restrictions with space plus other factors pertaining to life in a very high density unplanned area)

The Basic Principles in the Farm Stew Program were presented to the participants

  • God being the first farmer, in Genesis chapter 2:15 we see God giving man to take care of the garden.
  • Benefits of farming:
    • Exercises
    • Exposure to sunshine and clean Air.
  • The importance of growing one’s own kitchen Garden to reduce/cut expenditures on buying vegetables and fruits.
  • Growing different types of vegetables in one’s kitchen garden (Raised Beds and in sacks or plastic nursery plant containers),will help to overcome hunger/malnutrition.
  • Proper plant Spacing:
    • 4 different types of vegetables were discussed and how they should be grown different according to it’s category, as follows,(greens, beans, Fruit – vegetables, root vegetables)
    • In a standard Farm Stew raised bed of 10 cm height,5 m long and 1.1m wide
  • Greens, (e.g. Spinach), are planted in 3 rows with a spacing of 45cm between rows starting from the mid line, while leaving 10cm from both edges of the bed.
  • Fruit Vegetable’s (Eggplants), Two rows in a  bed with spacing of 75cm in between.
  • Root vegetables (Carrots),Five rows with spacing of about 18.3cm between rows.
  • The importance of Proper Space when planting,
    • To provide enough space for individual plants to be exposed to sunlight for photosynthesis.
    • To avoid closely planted vegetables competing for nutrients.
  • Use and importance of mulching
    • To prevent direct exposure of soil to sunlight
    • Retain moisture in soil longer.
    • Support Bio microbes which aid to provide nutrients in soil.
    • It cools the soil
    • Later after decomposition mulching becomes organic manure.
  • The importance of crop rotation, beginning with Beans, then the Greens, Fruit vegetables, and Root vegetables.
  • Importance of resting the land during the seventh year. The importance of using organic fertiliser, and how to make compost pile

2.2 Attitude

PRINCIPLES & PARABLE OF CHOICES

Cities and specifically these locations where the Training is taking place are hotbeds of vice, corruption, waywardness and tough living,  leaving very little choice for change because of prevailing circumstances, however what appears to be hopeless situations can be turned for good and with the introduction of careful adjustments to Lifestyle and living conditions, it is possible to make a difference starting with ATTITUDE Change.

The impact of one’s choices in life (LIFESTYLE) including what you decide to put into your body physically and   mentally can result into positive or negative outcomes, which can lead either to a happy or sad life.

Narrated the parable of the two villages, the Jungle and river Villages, the people who used to live in the same Village previously; later we see due to their different choices in lifestyle, the results for a river Village was good healthy while for jungle Village had illness’s from their young till the aged.

 (This could be narrowed down to individual Homes and Communities that people live in this very location and similar surrounding areas in the City)

Attitude, bad habits can take time to overcome, thus patience is needed from a Trainer/Planter when engaging a community or individuals in the community however, good habits in the same community are to be acknowledged and encouraged.

2.3 Rest

PRINCIPLES & HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRAINING

  • SLEEP FOR THE FAMILY and the need to treat well the masterpiece of creation – the Human Brain; refreshing, cleaning and repair of the brain; loving peaceful atmosphere prior to rest; Distractions such as noise, atmosphere, substance use and strong emotions; Sleep promoted by a healthy Lifestyle and trust in God; Worship and Prayer as part of preparation before rest and after; Blessings of a Weekly Rest that God provided on the seventh-day
    • The importance of NIGHT REST, and durations for different age groups, Infants, Children, Teens, Adults.
    • Sleep disruptors; Distractions,Atmosphere,Lifestyle, Substance use and emotions
    • Sleep Promoters; Focus, Atmosphere, Lifestyle, Temperance, Emotions, Trust in God
  • REST FOR THE MOTHER: The intense physical demands of pregnancy related to good and adequate food and rest; child spacing; various contraceptive methods allowing family spacing; Husbands (and mothers) roles in provision of food, love and free of anything harmful.
    • Needs during pregnancy; Why plan for the Family, self-restraint and planning; Families like Gardens; The Fathers part; Negative behaviour and violence
  • REST OF THE LAND.

2.4 Meals (Theory & Practicals)

Principles and highlights of the training

The challenges of putting a Meal on the table everyday in these communities is compounded by several factors such as the physical environment and with it poverty, disease, high unemployment, crime, and many other social ills, with many homes supporting orphans and extended families; nutritious meals are for a few.

This Training focused on teaching the essentials with emphasis on Nutrition together with the Farming taught earlier in a sustainable way.

  • FOOD NECESSARY FOR LIFE and how Plant Foods provide nutrients for abundant Life
  • The concept of GROW, GLOW and GO Foods; the three categories of Foods that everyone (especially pregnant women and children) need for optimum health
    • GROW FOODS; Proteins, the “Building Blocks” of the Body (Beans,nuts and seeds)
    • GLOW FOODS; Protective Foods that Promote Vitality (Plant foods-Fruit & Vegetables)
    • GO FOODS; Energy Foods (such as Carbohydrates)

Taught simple ways of increasing nutrients in food

  • The necessity of having variety and colour in the preparation of meals
  • The importance of having a plant based diet. Finding it’s origin in Genesis 1:29.
  • Importance of eating whole grains (3 part, seed coat, endosperm, and embryo) to obtain whole nutrients in a seed.
  • Whole grain is a reminder of the God head(Trinity) ,God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
  • Importance of eating vegetables of different colours (Rainbow); Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue/Purple (violet), Red/Purple (indigo).
  • To supply the blood with minerals, proteins, fats, carbs and vitamins.

Cooking Practicals

  • Making of Soy Milk – The whole process explained and carried out from cleaning, washing and soaking of the beans, pounding using simple traditional methods and preparation of milk
  • Soy Tofu – The whole process explained and carried out including preparation
  • Soya Mandazi – Made from the fibrous portion (Okara) left after extracting the soy milk which can be used to enrich porridge or dried to make soya flour
  • Enriched Bean porridge – The process is similar in preparation of Soy Milk but the milk is cooked until it thickens ready to be taken on its own sweetened or added to a maize, sorghum or millet porridge

2.5 Sanitation (Theory & Practicals)

Principles and highlights of the training

Probably one of the major challenges of living in a high density unplanned area is Sanitation and water supply. There are NO local authority trunk sewer lines to connect to, no space in the vast majority of cases to construct Conservancy Tanks or Septic Tanks & Soakaways; Garbage disposal is done wherever it can be done and collection is almost always in a few locations only. Pit Latrines are the standard with little or no ventilation and constructed in often haphazard ways  and unfortunately wells are dug within a few meters of latrines; Cleanliness generally is a problem creating more health challenges to families.

This Training focused on teaching the essentials with emphasis on and necessity of simple and practical ways of living in a clean environment.

  • CLEAN BODIES, CLEAN FOOD, CLEAN HOMES, CLEAN AIR, PROTECTION FROM PESTS & PARASITES, THE RIGHT USE OF WATER.
  • VIP (Ventilated Improved Pit) LATRINES
  • WASTE DISPOSAL & COMPOST PITS an essential and necessary part of the Home
  • FREEDOM FROM SHAME (Washable Sanitary Pads for Menstrual Hygiene) FOR SCHOOL GOING GIRLS
  • CLEAN BODIES, CLEAN FOOD, CLEAN HOMES, CLEAN AIR, PROTECTION FROM PESTS & PARASITES, THE RIGHT USE OF WATER.
    • The importance of Bathing, cleaning one’s teeth regularly;
      • The importance of having a clean environment in confined spaces, clean storage of utensils and cookware
      • Cooking without harmful smoke, building a rocket stove (Demonstrated)
      • Pests and parasites protection
      • Right use of clean, pure water for good health. Demonstration of making and use of the TIPPY TAP. (NOTE: As the area is very urban availability of material ordinarily found in rural settings but not in urban areas, the Tippy Tap frame was made through a local welder from scrap metal. Sample shown cost $4.50
  • VIP (Ventilated Improved Pit) LATRINES described and explained against  what was physically built around the Training area. It would appear the knowledge is there to an extent, the necessity of it from a health point of view maybe lacking and above that implementation is another matter
  • WASTE DISPOSAL & COMPOST PITS an essential and necessary part of the Home
    • In the rural setting the making of waste disposal and compost pits is possible because of the availability of land but no so in the urban high density areas such as the focus of this Training. Sample Pits were dug down at a stream clogged with waste which was evidence of the lack of space and inadequate or no local authorities intervention in managing waste disposal. The dangers and health hazards here are evident. One possible solution for each home embarking on a Farm Stew program would be to have containers the size of a half drum or garbage container   preferably disused and positioned away from the cooking area where vegetable waste can be placed and covered by soil and covered with a lid.
  • FREEDOM FROM SHAME (Washable Sanitary Pads for Menstrual Hygiene) FOR SCHOOL GOING GIRLS – Demonstration and use of Washable Sanitary Pads was done and the benefits for school going girls who have begun menstruation.

2.6 Temperance

Principles and highlights of the training

High density unplanned Communities have inherently very challenging situations that make them Hotbeds of vice which unfortunately is spread across all age groups especially the adolescent as the very young (a fair amount of orphans) quickly learn bad habits because of their surroundings. The vulnerable are almost always in numbers and the Rehabilitation Centre where this Training was taking place is a small dot in a very large community trying to deal with what it can in numbers of the vulnerable.

Temperance and self-restraint – the training focused on three important things;

Moderation, abstinence & self control

  • How the brain works:
    • Frontal lobe (higher power ),God desired the frontal lobe to be controlling the human brain, through the part of the brain that’s where Reasoning is done.
    • Limbic system,(lower Power) is to be subjected to the frontal lobe, in case of intemperance, eating or drinking stimulants which are addictive, the lower power tends to control the frontal lobe and bad choices and habits are made.
  • The brain should be protected by having enough sleep, healthy foods and drinks.
  • Teaching people to avoid alcohol, cigarettes, carbonated/caffeinated drinks, tea, coffee.
  • Teaching people to have self control against lust, to avoid adultery/fornication which may lead them to many sorrows, like David, also to avoid sexual transmitted diseases.

2.7 Enterprise

Principles and highlights

Notwithstanding the challenges in this environment, the opportunities available in this type of Community are many and in the five days of Training many ideas came to the fore and examples of the success of raising capital firstly in a village setting using the VSLA method were provided.

FIRST PRINCIPLES – Biblical references to Living and Working after the Fall CONSIDER THE ANT ; Proverbs 6:6-11   All its attributes

  • Importance of starting one’s own business, to be self sufficient.
  • How to start and run one’s business. Research, Planning, engaging in productive and uplifting businesses that benefit families and communities in a sustainable way. Considering the Business opportunity as a Ministry. Counting the Costs.
  • Importance of Village Saving and Loan Association and the initiatives being carried out by Government for Urban areas through the Ministry of Community Development. Examples of the success of VSLA in a short time taken from Masase Village Chieftainess Serenje where Farm Stew have an active presence.

2.8 Water (Theory & Practicals)

Principles and highlights

There could not be a greater challenge living in a high density area than having clean pure water for drinking at the very least and available clean water for day to day use by a family. In a situation where the water supply is provided at communal taps but obtained from boreholes not very distant and where individual homes sometimes have their own wells within their confined spaces, contamination is inevitable and with it water borne diseases.

THE LIFE – SUSTAINING LIQUID

  • Teaching people the use of water in and outside the body
    • Water keeps you healthy on the inside; water cleanses you on the inside
    • How much water should be consumed daily by adults, children and infants?
  • Teaching people how to purify water,
    • Why purify water? Samples of water were taken from a nearby well  (which was a few meters from a Pit Latrine) and from the nearby communal water collection point and incubated for 18hours. After the incubation period the water well sample had turned a clear yellow and the communal water sample had changed to a clear yellow tinge, both indicating contamination and the need for purification.
    • Other methods of water purification were taught and discussed on account of the prevailing situation and common problem of diseases especially water borne diseases in the community and surrounding areas or similar environments
  • BOILING, PASTEURIZATION & CHLORINATING
    • WAPI (Water Pasteurization Indicator) was introduced and each participant given one. A demonstration was done to show its use and benefits for energy saving especially in these communities where energy costs are a premium
  • Teaching people how to treat fevers with Hot/Cold therapy.
  • Teaching people how to make and use Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS).
  • Teaching people how to make and use Activated Charcoal.

3.0 Final Session & Graduation

An interactive session, as the paricipants were issued a Course Assessment Questionnaire on the weeks training and their indivudual grasp of all the material taught throughout the week including the practicals.

This session was used to explain How To Pioneer the Work of Farm Stew; to discuss next steps of beginning actual work in the communities, their confidence to begin, and Farm Stew expectations after the issuing of Starter Kits which would include a Flipchart, Manual, Pantry Book and initial material such as seeds, sacks, planting pouches and community registration forms.

Participants were advised that the success of this Training was not in the graduating but what they were able to achieve after this carefully following the Recipe that they have been trained in.

Positive feedback was provided.

Graduation

This Final Team of 13(Thirteen) – 7 (seven)ladies and 6 (six) men will form the core group of new Farm Stew Planters who have pledged to begin the Farm Stew program in  in their respective communities. They have been formed into 3 groups of 2 each Planter teams and 7 individual Planters. Of the 7, 3 will be out of Town in Rural & Provincial districts.

4.0 Conclusion

The bulk of this group forms the first CORE Urban

Farm Stew team to venture into City Mission work in Zambia. Motivation is strong from the get go, however support for all the work and territory to be covered is absolutely essential as they enter into Hotbeds of societal challenges. To be able to change mindsets, Attitudes and teach self sustainability and Life-style change will not be a walk in the park and not to be underestimated by any means.

The territories are vast and heavily populated, the workers are few, confidence is high and needs to be sustained.

Given the great needs of these urban high density areas it is necessary to start planning for new Teams of Planters in all similar localities across the urban constituencies, whilst nurturing and reinforcing the newly established Team who are on the ground and already testing the waters.

By God’s grace and a lot of prayer this work will progress undoubtedly.

Part team of planters receiving starter kits

Acknowledgements

This Training would not have been possible without the support of Farm Stew International and kind assistance from the Lusaka Central SDA Church Mens Organization (AMO)

Prepared by: H Zebron, Director, Wilderness Gate & Farm Stew Zambia

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