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V-Tractor, Soccer, and Responsible Action

It is hard to see how a V-Tractor, members of the Senga Bay Soccer Team, and buckets of sand can equal responsible action, but it happened in this Lake Malawi village area.

It started three years ago when the Malawi Project and Agricultural Aid International made available two of the innovative, new, farm tractors designed especially for the unique farming conditions in Malawi. Senga Bay ranges from the old to the new on the eastern side of Malawi beside the big lake. Ancient fishing villages line the shore and people make a living the same way their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. They till the land with small hand held hoes, and they fish the lake with the help of dug out log canoes. At the same time, coming to visit the pristine lakeshore are modern day first world travelers. The two worlds meet in Senga Bay. While this interaction has its benefits, it can also bring its difficulties.

The temptations that offer quick money from the visitors can at times overshadow the need for responsibility to their local community. The young boys and girl are tempted to ignore the advise of their elders when it comes to education, and responsibility to home and family to reach for the gold ring. In order to develop social responsibility, community pride, and a sense of self worth, Samantha Ludick and her Cool Runnings Guest House, sponsor the Cool Soccer Club. The team is expected to define a community project each month to assist.

It is Thursday in Senga Bay when one of the members of the Soccer team comes to Cool Runnings to talk with Samantha. Seven-year-old Abraham greets her, and then proceeds to outline the project they have chosen. He reminds her of that additional classroom being built at the Senga Bay Primary School. He reports how the builders have run out of sand from the beach for the construction. Samantha recalls the conversation as he makes his appeal.

“You know Madam, this block needs to be done before the next school term starts. This way more children can get an education … like me! Oh, I forgot,” the small lad adds, as though it is an after thought, “May we ask for your Ferrari to assist us to collect two loads of sand and drive it to the school?” (His reference to the “Ferrari” is a reference to what Samantha calls the two V-Tractors donated to the program to help the villages and the poor with their gardens.)

Samantha responded to his appeal, “Now how could anyone say no to such an passionate appeal? I asked if he would like to use the tractor? He responded politely, and asked if the Ferrari could meet them on the beach on Monday morning, time and place to be determined.”

“As I walked back to my office I felt so proud,” Samantha muses. “Here is a 7-year-old village boy who loves to play soccer and in so doing is learning that nothing in life is free, and that life is a matter of give and take. Thanks so much to the Malawi Project and Agricultural Aid for ‘my Ferrari’”.

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