AACDP Blog


Sydney Mwamba, AACDP general manager in Zambia, at the site of the future farm



In April the AACDP began the largest project in our 17 year history. In the face of the terrible economic crisis in Zambia that has tripled food prices in the past year and a half, we are buying land to create a communal farm so that our community of families with disabled children can grow and eat their own food.


Many of you contributed to our April campaign, “Delivering Food to Hungry Families in Zambia”, and we were able to buy provisions to deliver a month’s worth of food staples to 40 families for the next few months. We are also in the final stages of buying 20 acres traditional land available to these indigenous families. The next financial hurdle is raising $10,000 for an irrigation system to insure crops will grow with or without the rains. The rains were good this year, but for the previous nine years there was serious drought.


The country is in an election year and those in power seek to remain so by again employing Covid restrictions as well as ordering police to stop other presidential contenders from campaigning. So the economy suffers, a would-be democracy falters and food prices continue to soar.


My friend from Zambia writes last week:

“We are ordered to close the school amid third wave of Covid 19. Many people died last time not of Covid but poverty here. ..since that time things are expensive. Now only God can save us and especially the poor.”


Now we are aiming to put food security in their own hands. Growing crops of corn, okra, pumpkins, tomatoes and more is something that our families grew up doing in the villages. It is part of their culture and experience.


If you have been considering ways to share your blessings, to help the world outside your own sphere, circleWednesday, July 14th on your calendar now. That is the day when your gifts will have the most impact for the AACDP.


We will document our progress and share the results of your contributions with you.


I thank you for helping us live up to our name as a Community Development Project.


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The Covid year and a half in Zambia produced fear and economic collapse in Zambia, and as always, the poor suffered the most. Our families, who have children with disabilities, are headed mostly by women and literally could not adequately feed their children. So Sydney Mwamba, the managing director of the AACDP in Livingstone, is designing and executing a three-part project to provide food now and in the future.


Thanks to our successful fundraiser with GlobalGiving, the AACDP has begun step one delivering monthly boxes of food staples to 40 families to offset the rampant inflationary food prices that followed in the wake of Covid business restrictions.


In phase two, which begins next month, we will offer support in helping families create or improve home gardens where possible.



Phase three is the purchase of 20 acres of farmland in areas where our local people have access to their traditional land at very reasonable prices. The land has been located and a price agreed upon. This will be a long term project requiring preparation of the land and minimal infrastructure: a small traditional building for storage and a caretaker. Most important will be a solar irrigation system when rain is scarce. The local tribal chief from whom we are buying the land has told us that he is very pleased to see the area the whole neighborhood improved.

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So last April 5 the AACDP entered a kind of contest for entry into a world wide non profit fundraising group called GlobalGiving. I learned about this organization by chance talking to a friend of a friend, who also has a small non profit like the AACDP. She urged me to look at GlobalGiving, whose mission is to drive donor funding towards small grassroots projects.


We named our project "Delivering Food to Hungry Families in Zambia".


Everybody has heard about the waste of money and resources at the big charities. GlobalGiving is making visible to many levels of donors programs like ours, run by people who directly work with their communities, where all donations go to benefit those people. It takes time and thought to learn the skills and apply them. But skill building is part of their package, and, guess what? It worked.


The requirement for admission to GlobalGiving was to raise at least $4000 from at least 40 separate donors. I did not know if we could do it, but with a lot of suggestions from GG, we managed to bring in our target sum of $18,00! from 140 people! Out of almost 400 entries, we were 5th. I was surprised and thrilled.


The best part is how our ideas evolved for this appeal. At first we thought, well, we'll begin a food drive for our families that cannot afford food with the out-of-control inflation. Then we thought, we'll help provide seeds and fertilizer for home gardens. Then Sydney Mwamba, who runs the AACDP in Zambia, realized that our families have the right to buy nearby traditional land at very good price from their tribal chiefs. So Sydney suggested we start a communal farm. The women who make our dolls are so excited at this propect. These are people that come from agricultural backgrounds in their native villages, although they have moved to town. They know how to produce food and how to market it as well.


So this will be an ongoing labor which may take a few years. Besides the land, we'll need a solar water system, a few small traditional buildings, tools and seeds working towards the time when the farm sustains itself and all those who work on it.


You can see our project page for the contest here:


https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/delivering-food-to-hungry-families-in-zambia/


Probably many of you have already contributed to us for this, but, if you missed it and want to part of an effort that will create food and income for a group that has especially had a hard time during then pandemic, please join us. We will keep you up to date with a report every three months on our progress.



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