By Chris Barrell - HANDS AROUND THE WORLD Project Co-ordinator
Tiny citrus tree and everywhere very dry!
The past few months have been very demanding for the Project.
The rains due at the end of October / beginning of November have still not arrived. The few showers so far this year are insufficient to enable crops to be planted and haven't made any difference to the water and electricity shortages.
However the local team has risen to the challenge. Two new calves have been born, 200 chickens will be ready for sale within a few weeks and a new sow should produce piglets in the near future. These are important activities to provide the income needed to pay for the training of the teenagers at the Centre. It is good to see plenty of activity at the centre - the local community visit to buy products and children enjoy themselves.
The students are involved in all aspects of the centre's work from growing vegetables to looking after the livestock and developing and marketing products from the bees. This gives them additional opportunities to obtain a livelihood for themselves and their families.
Lack of rain has made it difficult to grow the vegetables and means that the cattle are not producing as much milk as would be hoped. Even the orchard has suffered – the citrus plants are much smaller than expected. The wind pump is now working well, but sometimes there is insufficient wind to fully fill the tanks. Costs have increased dramatically because of the depreciation of the local currency – the kwacha.
It will be a struggle, particularly over the next few months, to raise the necessary funds for the centre, any support you can give to help these young people achieve a better future will be much appreciated.
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