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The People Had a Mind to Work

Crops being irrigatedFunny Ganizani. Mgemezulu Village – Dowa, Malawi. Three years ago, a lesson was taught to a 250-member church on the subject of Preparedness. Richard Stephens, a co-founder of the Malawi Project encouraged members to cultivate an attitude of self-help by preparing for possible eventualities. Like Joseph did way back in time, you can also get prepared by planning, store food for lean period”. He preached. Several meetings and planning sessions followed for half a year. Then action followed.

Plans were later put in place, and a project was born to help famers get on their feet and plan ahead. However, the weather patterns changed in the 2018/2019 growing season. This affected the production of crops, and many farmers are now facing an acute shortage of food this year. The 2018/2019 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee Report – 2018, reports a total of 3.3 million Malawians are food insecure. This represents 18% of the entire rural population and is the second highest number of food insecure groups in the past six years.

The report further classifies the central and southern region are in a crisis or stressed category. Most parts of the northern region are not affected or minimally affected.

Under the umbrella of the Joseph Project, Action for Progress, with support from the Malawi Project, is implementing food security programs in Dowa and Rumphi districts. All three sites have grain storage facilities and members are managing irrigation programs to offset the effects of famine and food insecurity.

The board Chairman of Malawi Project, Bryon Bhangwandin recently visited the irrigation project and had this to say “I am almost beyond words to express the way these farmers are working as a community to help themselves. The unity of this group is evident, and their decisions to work as a team are showing great rewards. The group has a healthy corn crop which will mature at just the time hunger hits the hardest in November – December. There efforts are closing the gap and will insure children, women, the elderly and the whole community have a secure source of food.”

The director for the project, Mr. Helex Zachria expressed his appreciation to Action for Progress and the Malawi Project for the assistance extended to the people in his communities.

Richard Stephens co-founder of the Malawi Project notes, “Looking at the progress of Joseph Project 1 since the idea was first presented in mid-2016 it is heartwarming to see the great progress they have made. They have not only constructed a major grain storage warehouse, they have moved back to the beginning, that of planting, growing and harvesting to improve their output. At this point, with the aid of a water pump, the people of this remote, mountainous area have taken major steps to gain control over their food production and storage. If what these people have done could be accomplished all over the country, there would not be periodic famines and food shortages. We are proud of their success and example to their people.”

It is clear as we move forward, there is a great need to empower communities by working beside them. Provision of developmental support is more sustainable. With the aid of a single water pump this community is closer to hunger elimination. This would drastically reduce suffering especially for the children, the women, and the elderly. In the final conclusion it is all about the people getting involved, becoming active and working together.


Reported by Wilson Tembo

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