Last year in Zambia, the price of food skyrocketed. Hunger was a reality, with many eating just one meal a day. The women of the AACDP community, who have children with disabilities at the Mama Bakhita Cheshire Home, dreamed of having a communal farm to raise their own food.

Thanks to your generosity, we were able to purchase 20 acres of farmland, sink a well and buy a pump. To complete this totally sustainable system, the farm needs a solar-powered irrigation system.

Sydney Mwamba, our general manager in Livingstone, has organized everything so far and estimates that we can get the system built for a total of $4,500. That will cover the cost of a cistern, pipes, electric cables, a control box, and solar panel stands, as well as two experts to assemble it all. When it’s completed, the planting can begin.

Growing food is a fundamental of village culture, from which they all come. Families will till and fertilize their own plots and construct fences of local materials. Eventually they will build traditional huts for tools and storage, but right now the time has come to plant. If we can raise the sum for the irrigation system quickly, there will be time to get it installed before the rainy season. To take advantage of the natural growing cycle they must get seedlings in the ground by then; to prepare the soil and start the seeds beforehand, they must have water.

These women, like many people in the world today, believe that starting communal farms is one of the most sensible solutions for worldwide hunger. Please help this community create the infrastructure they need for sustainable food security, and end their fear of being unable to feed their families. They are so ready.

“We want to start planting. It’s almost the rainy season and we can’t wait to start growing food so we can feed our families.” - Exhilda Kamonyo, Zambezi Doll Co. Chairwoman

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By last July, the disastrous economic effects of Covid19 had tripled the cost of food in Zambia. This led Sydney Mwamba, my dedicated colleague in Livingstone, to the groundbreaking suggestion that we establish a communal farm, to be owned and run by the AACDP community of marginalized families who have children with disabilities. This will solve so many of the issues these people are facing.

In July we raised enough money through GlobalGiving to purchase 20 acres of land for the farm. The next step is to install a well and a solar irrigation system. To fund this, we have joined another GlobalGiving campaign called Little by Little, in which all donations up to $50 are matched 50%. This allows many more people to participate in an action to end hunger for these families, who will then also be able to help surrounding friends and neighbors with access to water and reasonably priced vegetables.

We have dared to dream big and, thanks to generous people out there, our prayers are being answered.

Many thanks and blessings.

Food for Families in Zambia

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Updated: Sep 13, 2021

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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