Masase Village Training
1st JUNE 2022 TRAINING (As Reported)
Water, a life-giving substance, was the topic of discussion on 01/06/22. We looked at the use of water in and outside of the body, in all 3 forms, Solid, Liquid, and Gas. The importance of having enough water, for adults is 2-3 liters per day while for children up to 1 liter. This was after explaining how it works in the body and that 1/2 of the body weight is water. We also discussed the importance of bathing daily so as to keep skin pores open to allow waste in form of sweat to be excreted and to keep the skin hydrated. After looking at the benefits and wise use of water, we also discussed the dangers of using contaminated water which could be due to Bacterial, Amoeba, parasites, or viruses from animals or human fecal matter which might lead to life-threatening conditions like Diarrhea, Dysentery and or other related conditions. Thus we discussed how we can overcome these challenges through the use of chlorine (when available), Boiling, Pasteurization, and the use of Activated Charcoal.
In case of intestinal infection and where a person is experiencing diarrhea, we guided the community on how they can make and use activated charcoal to stop diarrhea and other intestinal-related infections and or in case of poison ingestion or even snake bite.
The dosage for adults is 3 heap teaspoons in 500 ml water,(noted, we first add activated charcoal in250ml water, and after mixing well then we raise water volume to a full cup (500 ml). For children of age between 1 and 12, Dosage: 1 heap teaspoons in 500ml. Infants,1 leveled teaspoon in 500ml. (If the infant can drink the Charcoal, we then use the dosage for adults, allow the charcoal to settle down, and then give water to an infant). We cautioned them that all these dosages should follow with the drinking of plain water so as to avoid constipation.
In cases of poisonous bites or skin infections: Activated Charcoal paste plain or mixed with starch to make a poultice, with an equal amount of water to cover the site, and this can be removed and used new one every after 10-15minutes.We also discussed diarrhea being the second cause of death, more especially in children under the age of 5. This is due to the loss of minerals, water, and vitamins. We showed the community how we can rehydrate the body and provide minerals like Glucose, sodium, and chloride by making Oral Rehydration Solution(ORS), this can be achieved by 6 leveled teaspoons of sugar and 0.5 leveled teaspoons of salt in 1litre of water.
We later discussed the use of hot and cold treatment, in causes of fever, flu, headache, and swollen (localized). We guided the community that they can put 2 buckets,1 with hot water and the other one with cold water, then the patient (one who is able to sit) can be made to sit comfortably and first press their feet for 3 minutes in hot and then move to cold water for another 30 seconds, this can be repeated for 3 times. In case of headaches, they can inhale steam while partially covering their head. In closing, we advised the community to consider these as first-line aid, if the condition(s) is not improving they have to take the patient to the healthcare center.
8th JUNE 2022 TRAINING (As Reported)
Enterprise was the focus of our discussion on 08/06/22 at Masase FARM STEW Community Meeting. We did the introduction to would-be entrepreneurs and we also discussed the importance of the Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA) or commonly known in Zambia as Village Banking. We encouraged our community not to run away from the village or keep on complaining due to challenges we are facing but they should see all challenges as opportunities to start a business or to provide service(s)that would reduce the challenges that the village is facing. Thus the community was involved to identify and discuss the challenges almost everyone is facing, some of them identified were:
1. Lack of Relish (Vegetables/Fish)–Variety and quality.
2. Transport–Travel to the local District headquarters for services and within the area
3. Hair Salons–No facilities
4. Cooking oil (when available the prices are unbearable)–Everything is bought in town
We told the community, “looking at the challenges identified, someone or a partnership of two or more can save money to start providing the things lacking, which is a business opportunity rather than complaining. We then encouraged them to start by selling surplus from their new kitchen gardens”.We later looked at challenges facing individuals or partners who are seeing community challenges as opportunities, yet they are lacking Capital. We then introduced the idea of Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA)/ Village Banking, where individuals meet to Save their money and get Loans to set up businesses.
The rest of the day from 14:30 till 15:20 was spent distributing vegetable seedlings (English Giant Rape and Cabbage).
15th June Training – Expenditure and Farming
Our meeting started at 13:00hrs and ended at 15:00hrs. From 13:00 to 14:20 the discussion was focused on Enterprise; 14:20 to 14:40 (How to make organic Manure/Composite Theory),while the rest of the time we distributed Nursery plants.
We discussed how we can reduce poverty within households, the following were points raised:
- Working hard: We reminded the people that when God created man, He placed him in the Garden and gave work to him to take care of it, clearly the first work that God gave to man is Farming. We also discussed how Ants work hard without a ruler, and everyone was able to relate because we see the Ants on the daily basis along the roads and in the fields.
- (Budgeting: We encouraged the community to be having goals which they want to achieve by the end of harvesting; to reach their goals we guided them to come up with budgets together as a family or individual and start working hard towards their goals and told them that the goals or budget can be short term or long term.
- Saving: We encouraged them to be saving little by little other than waiting for harvest, though others said Saving within their homes is a challenge because of being financially undisciplined, the saving may end up being misused. We then asked them to join Village Saving and Loan Association when it is started.
- Reducing Expenditure: We guided the community on how they can reduce expenditure to save money, among things needed daily for consumption, relish takes the first place, other than spending money daily on relish, we can save through growing our own vegetables. Not only can we save but we can be selling to those who do not have Gardens.
We also discussed how the cost of production can be reduced with regard to growing Kitchen Gardens. Other than the use of costly and toxic fertilizer, we guided the community on how to make inexpensive organic Manure/composite with the use of Green grass/Brown grass/Brown wood and little Manure. This was done in theory, we will do the demonstration this coming week. After that, we distributed Nursery plants of Tomatoes and Cabbages to 32 participants.
The meeting continued with members asking questions about Malnutrition and in response to a question asked by one member, how can we know if the child is malnourished? We guided them that they should consider the:
- Age and height (Stunting), short height for his/her age, compared to his/her nourished peers.
- Hair (black hair for black child normal), having reddish/brown colour is an indication also.
- Big finger pressing, when the child does not eat well and yet he or she appears fat, they press their big finger on the child’s feet or hands to create a depression and observe how slow or fast it’s raising, if it’s too slow then it’s also an indication.
- Underweight (this can be determined by calculating Body Mass Index, weight divide by height squared)
- Encouraged them above all these to take their children to the clinic for Under 5 Checks.
We later distributed vegetable nurseries for Cabbage and English Giant, to those who did not receive in the previous week from the nursery whose surplus we added to every one plant beyond kitchen gardens for selling.
29th/30th June training (As reported)
Our Wednesday 29th June meeting was postponed to Thursday 30th June & Friday due to the weather (Too cold and rainy)
- Follow up for girls who received Sanitary Hygienic Pads– in May and June
- Demonstration of making a Composite Pile
- Sharing Red Onion, Giant English and Cabbage nurseries.
May/June ‘Freedom from Shame’ Feedback
- AFRIPAD sanitary pads issued to Masase village primary school children by recently trained FARMSTEW team, together with village school teacher, local village headwoman as reported
- Almost 2 months later the children were interviewed by the village school lady teacher on the children’s experience’s individually and from their parents
- Feedback was very positive and observations from the teacher were that absenteeism had dropped drastically and the girl students were happy. those children who missed that program were asking to be included in it.
We visited Masase Primary School on 30 June 2022, Thursday, to learn from the girls who had received SanitaryHygienic Pads previously, what their experience was and how their parents received the idea of their children using the pads, and also the feedback from the teachers. We got a positive response from the girls, who spoke on behalf of others and said, “The pads are easy to use and comfortable”, they also requested more donations, because other girls did not receive them as they were not present the day the pads were being distributed to the school. We were also told that their parents welcomed it and encouraged them to be usingAfripads.The lady teacher was also interviewed, and this is what she had to say, “After the girls received the pads, I have been seeing a great change in terms of class attendance on a monthly basis, girls who used to skip classes are ever-present now. The teachers are thankful to FARM STEW for the gesture. They said it’s the first time the school (girls) received this.
On Friday, 01 July, we demonstrated how a compost pile is made, beginning with 40% (10-15 cm) of brown grass, followed by 45% (8-10 cm) of green banana leaf (as these were readily available), the important thing, was to tear them into small pieces, so as to allow water to flow to the brown materials on the bottom. On top of the greens we added 5% of brown sticks, materials of soybeans stalk and 10% Manure (soil from a rubbish pit), we then added enough water to moisturize the materials. The composite pile was made under a chicken house, so as to allow the chicken droppings to be added manure to the pile.
We only did one lay due to Sabbath preparations, but we told the community that after adding Manure, the browns is to be added, following the greens, stalks/sticks, and manure again, this sequence is to be repeated till the pile is about 1.5 m high.
Distribution of Nursery Vegetables
We concluded the day by sharing Red Onion, Cabbage and English Giant from the nurseries.