Monthly Report – November 2022 Highlights

Nov 30, 2022 | Reports

Introduction

•The month of NOVEMBER is broken down into 5 sessions of Training in the Village of Masase, Chieftainess Serenje’s area Once again the number of attendees has improved from the last month with an average of 40+ people considering many have moved to their areas to plant.

• VSLA meetings have continued to improve with increased savings and plans for business investment.

•Farm Stew City Training carried out successfully in one of the high density areas of Lusaka in tough terrain. Team is highly motivated and were kitted out to begin working.

•Continued preparation of existing Farm Stew participant homes to become Certified Homes is on-going as before.

•Delivery of additional support for the existing Farm Stew Team still to be delivered, plus other needs to ease the current work and anticipated challenges of reaching and entering new areas.

1.0 Masase Village – 2nd November 2022 (As Reported)

The following activities were done;

WATER:

(Information repeated for the benefit of old and new members)

The Community participants were asked a question, what is water?

Some members said water is water, some water is life and others water is medicine.

While water can be defined in so many different ways and every living thing depends on water, for someone to cook food you need water even to grow vegetables, bath, wash clothes, cleaning you teeth, washing dishes.

Water is very important  in the same way you need water outside your body so it’s important inside your body cause it cleanse the inner parts of your body. A person needs enough water in the body some water is lost through sweat, urine, faeces and lungs and it needs to be replaced each day. Adults should have 2-3 litres of water per day while children need 1/2-2 litres per day. It is very important to drink water first thing in the morning before eating anything, this rehydrates the body and cleanse some left over food starting from the mouth, if you are drinking enough water your urine will clear and if you are lacking enough water your urine will be dark yellow which could be the cause of headaches. When you have diarrhoea or vomiting your body loses more water than usual and must be replaced by drinking enough clean water to avoid dehydration especially children and ORS might be needed. The important thing to note is, no other drink can replace ones thirst or one cannot use juice or beer to wash, cook or bath except water.

We looked at water purification and the fact that unclean water contains germs that cannot be seen and can cause serious diseases including diarrhoea, we looked at two ways we can purify water.

(I) Boiling water, it is the best because it kills 100% of microbes and all you have to do is heat clear water on fire while covering the pot and when it boils remove the pot on the fire and let it cool and do not remove the lid, after the water is cool pour it in a clean container then cover it to avoid contamination.

(II) Using charcoal, all you have to do is add powdered charcoal in your container with water and cover it for 30minutes and then get a clean cloth to filter into another clean container repeat to filter until the water looks clean.

(III) How to prepare charcoal, the hot season is when a lot of people suffer from diarrhoea and so we had to teach on how one make charcoal and how it can be used. Participants instructed in how to produce activated charcoal by pounding the charcoal into fine powder and then placing it on a pan and heating it for 15min.  Application in the case of diarrhoea;  adults, 1-3 of tablespoon in a cup and add water and drink while children, 1 tablespoon in a cup and add water, after drinking charcoal continue drinking water because if not you might have constipation, use the same method when one is vomiting.

Charcoal can also be used after poisoning or bee sting or being bitten by a snake because it sucks the poison in the body. Those who were there the first time this was taught are really thankful and one of them is Ones Mambwe who is one of the volunteers who carried charcoal when they had a church program for a week and three youths from his church had diarrhoea and he had to give them charcoal and they recovered the same day and they had no idea that charcoal works in such ways.

2.0 Masase Village – 9th November 2022 (As Reported)

The following activities took place

(1) Village Saving and Loan Association

This week,

GROUP A saved K8209 and only three(3) people obtained loans, the first loaned K1000, second K300 and third K200, so total amount loaned was K1500 and in the box remained K6709,while,

GROUP B saved K6432 and only two (2) people obtained loans, the first loaned K600 and the second K500 and so the total was K1100 and the money which remained in the box was K5332.

This week a lot of money remained in the boxes because some still hadn’t finished paying back their loans. From the loans that they have been getting some members have started small businesses like selling fish, cooking oil, fritters and making buns.

Farming

This week Farm Stew trainers guided the community once again on how to make  kitchen gardens for the sake of members that joined recently and we shared Tomatoes and Rape(green vegetable) which we had to transplant. New members were guided also how to properly space  when planting in a kitchen garden, as follows;

In Farm Stew a standard raised bed of  5 meters long bed with 1.1 meters width and the bed need to raised of about 10 centimetres, and make sure not to step in the garden so that the roots can be able to go down and get the nutrients they need.

When planting Rape (any of the greens) 10 centimetres on both ends of the bed is left to avoid roots to grow outside the bed and make three(3)rows inside the bed of 45 centimetres in between each row, while tomato (fruit-vegetables) needs two(2)rows  inside the bed  with a space of 75 centimetres between them and in each row 12 plants.

3.0 Masase Village – 16th November 2022 (As Reported)

Wednesday 16th November was used to get feedback from members old and new on the impact of the FARM STEW program in their homes and to them individually.

PASCALINA MAMBWE (FARM STEW Community Member)

“Ever since I joined FARMSTEW, I have learnt so much, at first my husband thought it was a waste of time. With the introduction of Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA), I was able to get a loan and start a small business of selling dried fish, at first I got a loan of K500 ($32) within a week, I sold all and made a sum of K800($50), profit of K300 ($18.75), My husband wanted me to share with him, I knew he was going to waste the money for alcohol, which is not healthy. I refused to give him because I know alcohol will destroy his health and he would not help me to pay back my loan, therefore I had to use the profit wisely, because of this, my husband demanded that I stop attending FARM STEW meetings, he further accused me of being unfaithful to him because I stopped begging for money from him and because of the business I have started through VSLA.

Despite him insisting that I quit FARM STEW, I have resolved not to do so even at the cost of my marriage ending, because of so many benefits I have found being a FARM STEW member.”

Note: Pascalina Mambwe, is a Jehovah’s witness member. (FARM STEW Trainers and Volunteers will visit the couple as soon as the couple is free ,to see how they can help and impress upon them the importance of a unified family and the benefits of the Program).

TESTIMONY OF CHARCOAL POULTICE USE

Holly Mutale Farm Stew Coordinator and Trainer

Two days after teaching the community how to make and use activated charcoal, and the importance of making enough to have in the homes at all times for emergency purposes, my wife and I were awakened at midnight by a young mother whose daughter (Mary) had received some serious burn from falling in a fire. The wounds were covered with sugar and animal fur when the child was brought to us, upon seeing the sugar and fur on the wounds, we immediately realised the wounds could get worse due to infections from the fur and the sugar feeding the bacteria.

We cleaned the wounds by removing the fur and the sugar and made a poultice of Activated Charcoal and Aloe Vera gel.

We covered the wounds with poultice and asked them to visit the health post in the morning where the child was given only pain killers.

We instructed the mother to be applying organic honey on the wounds until complete heal.

NOTE: Mother was not a Farm Stew Community member, Child is doing very well.

4.0 Masase Village – 23rd November 2022 (As Reported)

ATTITUDE: Deep-Depression

Within the village community and others who are FARM STEW participants are some people who are suspected of experiencing Deep-Depression without themselves nor their relatives knowing and realising the danger of the condition. FARM STEW Trainers and Volunteers had to educate the community about depression, it’s causes, signs, prevention and treatment. It’s definition?

Trainers educated the community that depression is a disorder within the the brain(note, not madness),which results into person experiencing a deep sad and unhappy state leading to negative attitude, which one can experience for more than 14 day’s.

Causes? The community were guided about probable causes;

• Death of a close relative or friend.

• Abuse, this could sexual abuse or physical, in most of the causes Gender based Violence.

• Toxins,

a. Tobacco,(any smoke, even that from the fire wood) it tends to block oxygen transportation to the brain because of the death of nerve cells in the the frontal lobe. (Note, because of this, FARMSTEW Trainers recommended the use of Smokeless Cookers, to avoid the effects of smoke that builds up in a hut).

b. Alcohol, which also damages the nerve cells of the frontal lobe.(note, trainers spent time on this point, as it is a culture for people to consume alcohol in Masase and the surrounding villages).

c. Other chemicals like, mercury, lead, pesticides and fertilisers.

• Poor diet, especially one lacking Omega-3 fatty acids, which is needed for brain development, this can be found in flaxseed and chia seeds(not known in the Village),thus Trainers recommended SOY BEAN products that they have been taught to produce as an alternative to more costly fresh fish which is more costly and widespread in use.

•Negative thinking of someone or something,(people were encouraged to count the blessings from God, they would realise there is much to be grateful for than dwelling on one or two negative thoughts, or experiences)

• Lack of exercises, sunlight and drinking enough water per day.

• Poor Sleep, lacking physical exercises for individuals and Mothers also, when they get a new born baby. All these would lead one to experience deep depression.

Symptoms

Trainers encouraged the community to take note of signs and symptoms and how to identify people who might experiencing Deep-Depression,

  1. Looking sad most of the times/days
  2. Looking confused
  3. Forgetfulness
  4. When one experience tiredness without doing any physical exercises
  5. At times, one who expresses suicidal threats.
  6. Complaining of headaches most of the times.

HOW TO PROTECT ONE’S BRAIN FROM DEPRESSION?

Trainers instructed the community how they can protect/prevent Deep-Depression, also how they can help those who are suffering from Depression.

  1. Men who were present (FARMSTEW participates) were admonished not to be involved in Gender based Violence.
  2. The community were admonished not to be involved in the brewing of alcohol or consumption.
  3. To avoid all kinds of cigarettes and to make Smokeless cookers.
  4. Farmers in the community were commended for their physical exercises during farming and walking long distances, which are good exercises.
  5. The community were encouraged to be drinking enough water, to supply the brain with enough fluid needed 85%.
  6. Farmers in the community were encouraged to be growing variety of crops in addition to maize, millet, beans and cassava which is widely grown, so as to be providing nourishing foods for themselves and their family’s.
  7. The community were encouraged to be doing Charity works within the village, for it brings joy and happiness to  others, especially the needy amongst the greater community, remembering also John 10:10 as they do so.
  8. People were encouraged to study the bible and sing uplifting songs.Trainers reminded the community that all these can be achieved based on one’s choice to do or not to do, but whatever choices are made be it good or bad, sooner or later it would result into positive or negative attitude.

The story of the Jungle and River Villages was re- told to show the results                                                                    of the choices of people and it’s results.

ENTERPRISE – Village Saving and Loan Association.

FARM STEW Trainers observed a great improvement from VSLA leaders on how to operate the Village Saving and Loan Association meetings, the Leaders were able to conduct meetings smoothly without asking aid from Trainers, who are always present to observe and advise whenever help is needed.

Due to transparency, honesty of trainers and VSLA leaders, people have gained more confidence to save and borrow money.

Group (A) Saved a total of K12,000 + and gave out loans of K4,000 meanwhile,

Group (B) Saved a total of k8,000 and gave out k3,000 loans.

FARM STEW participants who got loans on this day, were observed buying farming inputs (seeds), others spent the money of transporting fertilizers from town to the village, while others hired people to help them in the Fields.

FARM STEW Participants are being helped to get financial assistance within their “door steps” via Village Savings and Loan Association.

OTHER ACTIVITIES : Sharing of Onion seedlings after VSLA meetings, FARMSTEW participants shared onion seedlings among the 45 members who were present.

Trainers observed old members coming back, 2(two) JW members who were previously discouraged by their leaders, attended the meeting and claimed their full participation in VSLA meetings.

Further Information

  • FARM STEW TRAINERS are actively engaged with surrounding communities and villages to begin programs
  • The 6 Volunteers have started working side by side with the Trainers according to the training received.
  • We continue to make gains spiritually and face challenges at the same time as before.
  • Planning for further Kabansa Village Mission has been pushed to 2023 on account of the planting season, availibility of participants, and Farm Stew Trainers engaged in their own planting .
  • Urban Training planned for end October has been carried out successfully with 13 graduating Planters. NEW FARM STEW PLANTERS have begun working in various locations
  • The Farm Stew Lunga Mission in the Lake Bangweulu wetlands island of Bwalya Mponda was completed successfully and a small Team identified to be Trained. Soy bean sample planting area identified and planting to be attempted. Soybean and sunflower seeds delivered to the Island.

REPORTS COMPILED BY: H.Zebron –  WGFSI.  25/12/22

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