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Jun 10, 2013

Empowerment One Day at A Time

Cross section of the new crop in May
Cross section of the new crop in May

Dear friends and partners,

Since February a lot has happened in the lives of the families we are working with. We are seeing the potential of the project to educate vulnerable children and provide meals for families that need nutritious help.


1. School Fee Support

The project was able to support two teenage girls in their edcation. 1 girl whose mother is HIV postive was taken to school. The project paid forward her second term school fees, purchased uniforms and helped her secure a place in seconadary school, a great achievement given she is the first girl in their family to get into secondary level education. .

A second girl was also supported to purchase a school skirt (uniform support) 

Total support for this initiative totalled $132. 

2. Greenhouse Replanting- April-Oct 2013 Season

The members of the group were able to work on getting the greenhouse ready for replanting.

The group working in partnership were able to claer the land and prepare seedbeds in readiness for planting of tomatoes.The project managed by Acres of Mercy and the group in a mentoring rel;ationship has taken off and the tomatoes are 62 days old since replanting as at 8th June 2013. 20% of the plants have flowered and there is expectation of fruit development within the next three to four weeks

The total cost for this replanting was $150 including the groups contribution, seeds and nursery replanting kit.

3. Micro Health Support

This is yet to kick off as the group is yet to raise their contribution. We have since kept this on hold so the group can raise their required contribution

4. Savings

Group savings has grown and there are more active members seen in the number of members participating in weekly activities.

5. Passing Gift

Monitoring of this has been a challenge but so far 5 members are ready to pass on animal gifts to other families who are in line. The group leadership will be trained on effective monitoring methods and equipped with monitoring tools.

We want to thank you for the support given this far.

For much more impact on the above we want to ask for you our friends and partners to consider giving at least $500 recurring donations per month on this project over the next 6 months to reach sustainability level.

We thank you again for your continued support


Jun 10, 2013

Change is Coming

Motivated Students Engaged in Reading
Motivated Students Engaged in Reading

Dear friends and partners,

After taking another chance we are seeing some change happening.

We have been working hard on the ground to ensure we can get better, sustained and higher returns on the project. In February we reported that we will plant corriander and tomatoes. We did plant the tomatoes but went one step further.

The following sre snapshots of the progress we have made so far:-

1. Electric Pump Repairs:- Towards the end of November 2012 the submersible pump used to irrigate the green house broke down due to a short circuit caused by water leaking into the wiring system. We managed to repair and rewire the system to house the switch in  a place where it is not exposed to rain

The wiring also included an AVS switch that would regulate the electric current flows

2. Replanting Green house with capsicum: With the water pump sytsem in place we planted green pepper (capsicum) so that we would be able to get better returns over a shorter period of time. We also planted corriander in betwen the capsicum rows. This will ensure early returns to cover for costs early. Corriander is a high value crop and a bunch of 10 stems would sell for 30/=. Capsicum is also high value and a small sized piece would sell at a market price of 10/= a piece. We expect to have much more tthan small sizes when we begin to harvest in October.

The greenhouse has a capacity of 200 plants each capable of producing over a 100 fruit during the entire season

3. Increased Student participation: Our casual worker left work in December. This set us back almost three months. The positive result of this is that more students in the school have taken ownership of the project and are actively participating in its routine maintainance. This will also save us in terms of labour costs. 6 students have shown a keen interset in farming and this is a positive result for us

3. Agri skills development and mentorship among students: With increased student participation, there has been more organized passing of agronomy skills and record keeping  to the students. This is equipping them with a resilient character. They are developing responsibility. Currently we have students being motivated to take up modern farming as serious livelihood option. One of the students keeps pushing for the rabbit project to start and this is great initiative and accountability.

We want to thank you for making this possible and encourage more recurrent donations so we can hit the $300 a month mark. The gains we are making with the students are worth the effort in keeping students motivated and passionate about school.

We are in the process of reassessing our termly assessments and performance to take into consideration students who might be academically weak but have shown great progress in out of class activities like the greenhouse management. We hope this strategy would keep such students eager to learn more in science or mathematics as we work on helping them transfer skills learnt in the project into the classroom.

We are however reworking our cashflows to harmonise so we can get into sustainability by the end of this season.


Feb 19, 2013

Taking Yet another Chance

 The green house project as at October had made the following good progress; Over 150 kgs of tomato fruit and good sales having managed to sell $103 since the first harvest on September 14th. 

The progress was quickly halted by the town council pumping water intermittently for two weeks and shutting down our supply. The crops dried up in Mid November(pics)

We sunk our well deeper  48ft-71 ft. in an effort to get a more permanent source of water and to stop solely relying on the council water and rains.

This season we will take yet another chance to replant but with different crops.

We have purchased coriander seeds to plant in between the tomatoes.

This would increase our income as at the second month of planting instead of waiting till the fourth month.

We are also working to purchase rabbits to loan to students who can take care of them for two months before we sell them for food.

We thank your continued support to keep the children in school. 

To all our friends with recurring donations; THANK YOU. Your unwavering support keeps hope alive here in Nguluni.

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