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May 11, 2020

Dreams Stalled But Still Strong!

Three of our recent graduates
Three of our recent graduates

We were thrilled to be able to tell you that your investment had resulted in four new graduates from vocational-technical colleges. When they arrived at Warm Heart 6-8 years ago, they all had to catch-up with their Thai peers. They came from one-room schoolhouses in remote hill tribe villages. Their Thai was not "Central, Proper Thai" but a Northern dialect, they were behind in reading and math and science. With steady, hard work and afterschool tutors, they graduated from high school and were admitted to vocational colleges - a two-year program aimed at preparing them for careers in the city. 

One studied nutrition and had an internship at a Sizzler restaurant, which buys local, organic vegetables for its menu. She is applying for training programs with chefs in major hotels in Chiang Mai. Two others studied retail marketing. A fourth studied tourism/ hospitality. She interned in various departments of a local hotel and has an initial offer in a training program at a four-star hotel group 

They had just graduated in March. And then the COVID19 virus locked down the city. So, they are adapting and finding work as safely as possible. One is working at a major chain of convenience stores, another in the kitchen of a restaurant turned take-away, a third at a large service station. The fourth has come home to help with projects at Warm Heart and tutor the children while she waits to learn what is opening up. They have learned how to navigate city life and are ready to step up when the world re-opens. 

In the meantime, our college students are back at Warm Heart, studying online to finish the school year. The new school year is expected to start in July and tuitions are due now. 

Thank you for all you have accomplished with us! We still have more to go! 

Take good care and stay well!

Feb 20, 2020

Growth and Adaptation of Biochar in Malawi

It is simply amazing how fast farmers are grasping the many benefits of making and using biochar in Africa.

Starting with a single Nun who watched our video on how to build a biochar oven, she has led a movement that has trained well over 2,500 farmers today, and is still growing.

One of the reasons it is so popular and spreading like wildfire is because it works. The farmers see the incredible results when they plant their crops with biochar. These people are hungry, and can see the immediate benefits.

They are also adapting biochar into their animal feed, which is having a positive impact on the health and growth of their chickens, pigs, cows and rabbits. 

It is very encouraging to see so many farmers excited about the results of making and using biochar. The environmental impact of less smoke from crop waste burning is a side benefit for everyone. 

Right now the rains have slowed down biochar production for awhile, but when the rains come to an end biochar production will once again be dominating the new agricultural standards in Africa, and more and more farmers will learn how to do it.

The more funds we can raise for this project the more teachers we can train to help spread biochar education to farmers. 

This project is a major step for food security for millions of people. 

Thanks for your continued support!

Evelind and Michael

Chicken egg production before biochar
Chicken egg production before biochar
Chicken egg production after biochar
Chicken egg production after biochar

Links:

Feb 3, 2020

Dry Season Is Here

The rainy season is over and the children and farm staff are preparing for several months of hot, dry weather.  They are covering the open beds to protect the soil and setting up kitchen gardens close to ponds and greywater from washing.

We had a good run of vegetables for the garden and the cooler has been put to good use.  We grew long green beans, lots of garlic and spring onions, eggplants in many varieties. The staff has been learning how to make tomato sauce from all our extra tomatoes. The children love spaghetti as a treat with the fresh tomatoes.

It has been a very rewarding experience watching the children learn how to grow their own food. This is a skill that will last them a lifetime. Sustainable farming practices help ensure food security for our children, and their future families as they grow.

The children are also learning about biochar, how important it is to make biochar with crop waste and return the biochar back to the soil. Keeping the soils healthy and alive leads to better crop production and higher quality foods.

"When we grow our own vegetables we know they have no chemicals and they taste good."

"I learned to make biofertilizer and a natural weed killer in school and now we use them in our gardens."

Nuey Age 15

 
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