Dowa East and Chandiwo Village, Malawi … For many Malawians this is the first time they have witnessed such large storage facilities in their villages, designed and built to store large amounts of maize for use during famine years.
Malawi churches and local communities can now report success with both of the Joseph Projects who received support from the Malawi Project to create community warehouses and bring community co-operation to the work. Both started at the end of the rainy season in 2017, with the villagers making thousands of bricks for the buildings. With the completion of the first unit in Dowa East, and then the second one in Chandiwo Village Wilson Tembo has given an optimistic report on how these programs are being viewed from a village perspective.
With the completion of the Dowa East building, Tembo says, “I am pleased to report Joseph Project 1 Community Warehouse is now completed. The community is extremely happy. Village heads and their subjects have been coming to witness this. Some thought it was a hospital building while others thought something else. They came to learn for themselves. They learned it was a community warehouse for all to store food and farm crops, and this made all of them very happy. This is a new project for them. Many have never heard of such a project,” Tembo concluded.
The second of the projects started in the Dowa District between the Mponela and Madisi Trading Centers just west of highway M-1. It started with 8 churches joining their resources and manpower and taking advantage of the offer from the Malawi Project to supply concrete for the walls and foundation, doors and windows, and the metal panels for the roof. While these eight churches had never worked closely together for a project of this kind their commitment soon spread to other nearby congregations. The number of churches rose to 12, then 14 and finally to 18 before the group was completely solidified into a single unit for the Project.
By the time the rains started late in 2017 the building was well along and construction was able to be completed in time for the churches to put in place their plans for these village churches to reflect the necessary co-operation needed to bring success to this first-of-its-kind community development program for food sustainability in the area.
The term ‘Joseph Projects’ comes from the Old Testament story of Joseph where God warned him of upcoming famine. He persuaded the Egyptians to store grain ahead of the famine years, and they were spared the suffering and death because of their preparation. The two “Joseph Projects” in Malawi are following this same pattern to plan ahead, raising and storing grain against possible famine. By doing this they will provide food for orphans, widows, the elderly, needy and villages that run short of food during years when crops fail to produce the needed food supply.