Dear friends and donors of Nazareth Foundation Malawi,
In July and August we visited our project Nazareth in Malawi. Ineke 8 weeks and Nico 4 weeks. Busy, interesting and delightful weeks during which many things happened and have been done together with Josefa.
This is our report.
Picture of Mganja by Matthews Hau Hau when he was paragliding
The course where people could learn how to construct the solar systems was given at our acticity centre.
This is a solar panel ready for use. Three solar strips are soldered together and connected to a power bank with wires.
From every house where he installs a solar system Elias Moyo writes down the GPS coordinates, because people have no addresses.
The village profits from the presence of Nazareth because through a former Chichewa student Nazareth became a partner in this solar project. By the end of this year we can place another 150 systems.
Daily life at Nazareth
It is always lovely to be at Nazareth and to live the daily life in our house and in the village. As always, the day after our arrival we had dinner together with all our workers and good neighbors on our veranda (on mats on the floor!).
Josefa is fine and as usual she is the warm heart of Nazareth. During the first weeks, when Nico was not yet there, Ineke and Josefa worked a lot in and around the house and the garden. Part of the groundnuts had still to be harvested. We pruned and watered the trees in the fruit orchard and after that the citrus trees started blooming and smelling lovely.
Our maize harvest was good, especially compared to the rest of Malawi, where there is famine. Immediately after harvesting we also bought bags of maize, because prices were still low, to be prepared for the next famine that will surely come this year. We will be able to help people who will have problems finding enough food. All those bags of maize had to be treated against insects, a big job.
Josefa had not started a vegetable garden nor a flower garden, because water was scarce. Although we do have our own water supply, we should be careful with our own boreholes, because they also can run dry.
In our flower garden Ineke started a vegetable garden, in order to try the seeds Marja Verrijk from the Netherlands gave us. Together with Gustin, and later on with Macarena, two students from secondary school who wanted to spend their holidays working at our project to earn their school fees, we made patches, we sowed, planted and watered. Before our departure in the beginning of September we already could eat some of it! Ineke shared Marja's seeds with several people who are very grateful (e.g. Maria from Misuku who has to feed a lot of orphans)!
The solar project we already wrote about in our previous newsletter, has spread in Mganja, the village where Nazareth belongs to. Kuyere means: "to bring light". The Americans who took the initiative for this project (on totally altruistic motives, financed with their own money) chose Nazareth as the center of their project.
In July Robert van Buskirk and Bereket Lebasi were our guests for about one week. More than 20 people from all over Malawi followed a three day course in which they learned how to spread the solar project in their own region. This meant we had to accommodate and feed more than 30 people. A huge but rewarding job.
By the end of 2016 or in the beginning of 2017 Robert en Bereket will come back to Mganja for a second course.
By now 183 houses in Mganja are kitted out with a solar system with 1 or 2 lamps and the possibility to charge phones.
Our partner Mr. Elias Moyo from Mganja makes the solar panels, puts the systems together, and installs them in the houses. We are very happy with his contribution. Josefa supports him, taking care of all the administration. Ineke tried to simplify the administrative system in order to make it easier to handle. Mr. Moyo and Josefa can now communicate with us and with the Americans through Whatsapp because we brought some smartphones. These were given to us by friends of Nazareth in the Netherlands, for which we say Thank You. We also had to open a bank account in Malawi, which is not an easy thing to do!
Robert van Buskirk teaches the students
Women from the village prepare the meals for the students and the teachers
Nazareth is first and foremost a place for spiritual development. Often we are too busy to take time for this. But, anytime possible, when at noon the work is done, we sit down together on the veranda. Then we have time to talk with each other and about ourselves, the day and our work. It's a moment of contemplation, for some of us by way of praying.
The second house is ready now. Some things still had to be finished or changed or repaired, like plastering the bathroom, putting cement between the roof and the wall of the house (because bats could come in through the cracks), some painting and installing the solar shower. We also took care of furnishing the house with beds, chairs, tables, a cupboard and so on. Some of the furniture we ordered on the road from Salima to Lilongwe. We had to borrow a pick-up to collect everything. Other things were made locally. Marco, the carpenter from Mganja, is still working on it.
It has become a nice and comfortable house with a lot of light coming in and a beautiful view from every window. The house has already been used a lot. We especially thank Sr. Chowamba from Limbe who made all the curtains and will also make the pillow covers for the chairs in the living room.
We also started on the garden around this house. Trees have already been planted and the fence has been planned. We bought chicken wire for it which will be hidden under Golden Shower.
You may think that everything looks very bare, but July and August are dry and cool months, like winter in Europe. Trees have no leaves and grass gets dry, but after the first rains Malawi will be green again very quickly! However this will not be the case until the end of October or even November. Because we have our own water system and many trees and bushes Nazareth can be a green oasis throughout the year.
The front of the new house
the solar system for the shower
The back of the new house
Food and water for birds
Josefa and Beta are planting a tree
Here is Beta with the next tree
Nico with Ildefons and Fili, the son of Richard, Macarena and Evelina at Chamareday
Hanna and Ineke also at Chamareday
Chichewa students Hanna, Landry and Paul, with Thomas, a friend from the village
Chichewa language courses
Josefa is very busy giving Chichewa courses. When Nico arrived there were 5 students present, ready to start. Nico joined them and followed the course the first week. Josefa had to work very hard, not only because of teaching, but the students have to eat and sleep as well. This means a lot of work but it was also very enjoyable. Nine people at the dining table with seven nationalities (Burundi, Rwanda, Germany, Mali, Tanzania, Netherlands and Malawi). Just after we left going home to the Netherlands, two new students arrived. This meant Josefa took the new students one part of the day and the old students the other part. It's Josefa's contribution to earn money for the project. We are happy that we are now able to accommodate students in the new house so Josefa has more moments of rest.
A day out
We took the students and our workers from Nazareth to Mua, where the annual Chamareday took place. This is a big cultural event, organized by Fr. Claude Boucher, Father/anthropologist/artist of the Kungoni Museum at Mua.
The group of 5 students have finished their course by now, but new students have arrived from Germany. More about them later.
Students and pupils we support by paying their school fees
The number of young people coming to us to ask for help with their school fees is increasing. We especially try to help the more intelligent and well motivated children to attend good schools. They are the future of Malawi! They can not only help their own families, but the whole village as well and even the country! For this purpose we need more financial support!!!
Evelina (12) from Mganja, whom we helped to go to a good secondary boarding school finished her first year as number 8 out of 178 students. An extraordinary achievement, but she is not satisfied yet. It's her ambition to be number one at the end of the second year. She informed us recently that until now she managed a 100% result in Form 2!
Evelina wants to be a journalist. However she never even saw a paper or a magazine in her life (let alone t.v.)! We brought some for her from Lilongwe. We also took her to the Montfort Press at Balaka. They are publishing a paper and two magazines. They also do t.v. broadcasting. She was allowed to have a good look there for a whole day.
Thomas, to whom we gave a laptop and a loan for university finished his first year as well. He had many problems. Sometimes he had no food or a place to stay, but he did not give up and he made it. 60 % of all students quit university after the first year, so this is quite an achievement.
By now we are taking care financially of four other young people
Francis is one of the orphans Maria in Misuku is taking care of. He is very intelligent and hardworking and that's why Maria wants him to go to a good secondary school. We promised her to provide the money for it.
Lawi en Tadza are twins and orphans, 18 years old. Some German Sisters from Madisi have been paying their school fees up till now. The girls have finished good secondary schools and the first year at university. This first semester the Sisters could not help them because the money they took from the bank for the school fees was stolen. We hope the Sisters will be able to take over the financial support after this first semester. Nazareth Foundation will pay for the first semester. Lawi also received one of the laptops that were given to us. She was very happy with it. Thank You to the donors!
With the funds donated by people from Venlo after our appeal last year, Chifundo has finished secondary school. He is very grateful for your help. To him we are now like second parents and he wants to say thank you very much to all the good donors. He is very touched. This year we brought him a laptop. Before continuing his studies on a higher level later this year he wants to earn part of his school fees himself. With a loan from Nazareth he rented some rice fields in an irrigation scheme. There he will plant and harvest rice. With the money he earns by selling the rice he can pay for his study and return the loan. The profit is shared with Nazareth. It is important to him that we will be able to help other people to go to school with the profit that is made.
Linda Chisoni (right) with three of her children. Chisomo is standing next to her. We promised to help Chisomo to go to secondary school.
Chisomo Chisoni is the 13 year old daughter of Linda Chisoni. Linda became a widow 9 years ago. She works at Mua hospital as a ward attendant. She also sells part of her crop and she keeps chickens and goats to earn some money. She has 5 children. Chisomo is the youngest one. She was admitted at a good secondary school were she ended the second best of all the candidates at the admission exams. Since Linda has to take care of all of her children she is unable to pay for Chisomo's school fees.
Member of Parliament Dedza East:
We met Juliana Lunguzi, Member of Parliament in Malawi representing our region, Dedza East. An extraordinary woman, giving all her strength and power to improve the lives of the people in her region. She is especially interested in improving the lives of young girls.
She came to visit Nazareth a few times and she got enthusiastic about the project. It turned out that we share ideas about many things and there were even some developments we both were trying to achieve. We agreed to work together from now on as much as possible.
Secondary school for Mganja?
For example. Both Nazareth and Juliana want a secondary school in Mganja (at present there is none). The most important reason for this wish is that we want to give girls the opportunity to finish primary school first, and then to attend and finish secondary school. At the moment many girls leave school too early or/and get pregnant too young. That is because there are no role models for young women and they have no outlook on what kind of jobs they could do.
Juliana immediately got into contact with the local chiefs to discuss a convenient location. We attended the meeting that she organised. The discussion started well, everybody agrees on the goals. But an agreement for a location is not yet reached. Juliana has the ability to motivate and stimulate people and to get them to work together to achieve something.
The village will have to provide a location and the bricks for building. Nazareth will try to get funds to start building. Juliana will try to make the government pay the teachers.
We think of applying for funding at Manos Unidas in Spain, but also at Dutch funds. Our builder Mr. Kandodo might be the contractor. He has got experience in building schools. A Chinese religious Sister who took Chichewa lessons from Sr. Josefa also wants to give her support. She will try to raise funds through her relatives. She very much wants Malawian girls to have better chances in life.
To be continued.
Some pictures with Juliana Lunguzi: in the meeting with the local chiefs, on our veranda with Evelina, and on a tour of our property. with Matthews, Josefa and Nico.
A second idea, coming from Juliana and supported by Nazareth, is to start nursery schools. At the moment children don't go to primary school until they are six or even older. Until then they only play around the house without being able to develop any school skills. Probably this is also one of the reasons why they stop going to school at an early stage. Juliana wants these nursery schools to be on six central locations in Mganja (Mganja consists of 11 villages). The teaching should be done by volunteers. As an incentive, these volunteers, as a group, will be given a group of goats. They keep them and can sell the off spring and share the profit. Juliana told Thomas (the student mentioned above) to write a proposal.
To be continued as well.
Irrigation project for women
In the beginning of 2016 we applied for funds from the Spanish donor organisation Manos Unidas for an irrigation project for women. Last year we already started with one group of women growing organic vegetables together on our property. We would like to make this project available to all the women in Mganja. However to achieve this we need a second solar water pump with a water tower and irrigation system. Manos Unidas has received our application and asked us for more information. We are now in contact with Dedza diocese about the ownership of the land and with the builder/plumber who is going to realize the project (if we are so lucky to receive the funds).
Again: to be continued.
Fynn and Colin, two young men at the age of 20 we know through friends of ours in Rixdorf (a small village in the north of Germany) came to stay at Nazareth for 6 months (Colin) and 1 year (Fynn). At Christmas 2015 Fynn told us about their plans to do voluntary work preferably in Africa for about a year. The possibilities that were offered were very expensive or just not suitable. That is why Ineke and Nico looked for possibilities for them in Malawi. Eventually we found them a place at Mganja primary school. They will start leisure activities with the children and support the teachers whenever necessary. They will also contribute to agriculture or other chores at Nazareth. But first they will do the Chichewa course, learn the language and get to know village life.
Fynn and Colin arrived at Likuni where Mathews and his brothers and sisters live.
Mathews, Colin and Fynn on a truck on their way to Mganja.
June lives on Lake Malawi, not far from Monkey Bay.
The beach at June Walker's place
Visiting friends and acquaintances
We visited June Walker.
She was the main donor for the new house and we always enjoy our visits there.
We visit her every year. She is a fierce advocate of permaculture. The meals we have at her place are always full of organic and culinary surprises.
New inhabitant of Nazareth: Mathews
Mathews Hau Hau came to live at Nazareth. He is a son of Claire, who was a niece of Josefa. Claire and her husband died and so Mathews is an orphan. His two sisters, Lawi en Tadza, are students at university and his brothers Isaac and Ismael have steady jobs away from home. Ever since his parents died Mathews took care of their house and fields in Likuni, near Lilongwe. Often he was staying there on his own, getting lonely. In May and June 2016 Benjamin Jordan stayed at Nazareth and taught Mathews how to be a paragliding pilot. Ben is the Canadian paraglider (and photographer and documentary filmer) we met in 2014. Take a look at his website for beautiful pictures he took of Mathews, Nazareth and Malawi.
Because of the presence of Mathews Josefa is no longer alone at Nazareth. We feel safer that way. He also helps her with many things. He can do all kinds of jobs in and around the house, welcome and escort guests. He also works at the School of Dreams, the activity center where Ben started a computer course for children and a sewing course for women. There are some tablets with a rechargeable battery and a solar panel. He also bought one sewing machine. We bought a second one. Mathews took many beautiful pictures of Nazareth from above. Some of them can be admired on this website.
Mathews in the air paragliding and working in the sewing room in the School of Dreams
Mrs. Moyo with "little" Joe at the sewing machine, donated by friends of Ben.
During our stay this year we also visited some of our old friends in and around Mua, many people visited us at Nazareth for various reasons and we talked to many people in the village.
Richard next to his mother, Ineke and his sisters with their children.
Smart Mapereka with his family and his brother. He plastered the bathroom of the new house.
The Mbewe family. Mr. Mbewe used to be our watchman when we rented a house in Mua. They are extremely poor and they told us painful stories about their efforts to survive the famine.
On the other picture the grandchildren of the Mbewe's
So far our newsletter. Every year there are more stories to tell, so the newsletter gets longer every year as well.
Many many thanks to all our donors and to all the people who gave us laptops, mobile phones, clothes and footballs. We were able to help a lot of people with it. And all of them are very grateful to all of you.
In 2017 we hope to visit Nazareth together for 8 or 10 weeks. Jürgen Arimond will accompany us for 3 weeks.
Also on behalf of Josefa Ngona,
Ineke Hendrickx en Nico Peters
Nazareth Foundation Malawi
Newsletter December 2015
SOLAR POWER FOR VILLAGERS MGANJA
Dear friends and donors of Nazareth Foundation Malawi,
With this short newsletter we want to add to our September newsletter. We would like to inform you about a recent and important development in Mganja, the village where Nazareth is situated.
A solar power project has started! The goal of the project is to put solar panels on all the houses of the village. These solar panels make it possible for all the villagers to have electric light and to charge mobile phones. During 15 months they pay a small amount of money (1.000 kwacha = ca. 2 euro). After that the system is theirs. Five houses are already fitted out, as an example for the other villagers. At the moment people are asked if they would like to participate. Next year all 5000 households could get this solar system!
This has come about through the Eritrean Sister Timnit. Last year she stayed for some time at Nazareth to learn Chichewa from Josefa. Through relatives of her, refugees in the United States, she is in contact with an American organisation that has as its goal to bring electricity to rural areas in Malawi. Mganja will be the second village they will provide with solar systems, thanks to Timnit!
It also possible to participate with bigger solar panels (which is more expensive of course). This would be an option for the two houses of Nazareth. Then it would be possible to use computers and, who knows, wifi!
To us it is very important that the whole village can profit from the presence of the Nazareth project. Until now we could offer jobs to just a few people and organic gardens for womens groups.
We are planning to have a little shop on our property where people can buy spare parts en lamps. Someone from the village will work there after a short training.
The guesthouse we started building in July is almost finished. Furnishing is next, and after that our first visitors are welcome to stay in this house and enjoy the peace of Nazareth!
Newsletter August 2015
We are happy to give a report from our yearly visit to Nazareth, Malawi. We arrived home in the Netherlands on August 14th, after a wonderful stay of 7 weeks (Ineke) and 4 weeks (Nico). We are looking back on a time of beautiful and unexpected events and developments. Josefa is very well. Still full of plans and ideas. We talked a lot about them during our stay. Josefa's network in Malawi keeps on growing. People like to come to Nazareth. Many of them, each in their own way, are helpful in reaching our gaols: human development in daily life, discovering each one's talent, working together so that 'our' orphans and the people in our village are able to work on a better life for themselves.
We started our first women's group on July 8th, 2015. Eight women will be working together. At first they will involve themselves in growing vegetables in our vegetable garden. We provided seeds and are teaching them organic farming. Each Wednesday morning the women come together to work in the garden and to make compost. They take turns to water the plants every day. The harvest will be theirs. If there is a surplus they can sell it. They also decided that each of them puts in a small amount of money every week. With this money they will start other activities. They would like to start sewing together and follow courses.
If all goes well with this women's group we want to extend with new groups next year. We want to keep the groups small. In the experience of Josefa big groups don't work out well. In small groups the women can make their decisions together. We aim women specifically because they are the providers of food in their families.
Thomas and Tadza to university
We were able to help two starting students, Thomas (22) from Mganja and Tadza (18) from Likuni, a bit on their way with their studies (respectively at Bunda college and the Polytechnique in Blantyre)) by giving them a laptop computer. Many thanks to Frans Aerts and Lau Kuijpers for giving us their laptops! Tadza and Thomas were very happy and are most grateful. Both of them finished their secondary school with very good notes. Tadza, an orphan, will be financially supported by religious sisters.
Thomas, from a poor family in our village, has to pay his own school fees for the first year. After that he will be able to apply for a scholarship from the government. His parents are working very hard to get the money together.
Evelina to boarding school
We were able to help Evelina (12), a very talented girl from Mganja, in being admitted to a very well known secondary boarding school for girls in Balaka. Evelina finished primary school with excellent notes and wrote very good entrance exams. As a child from a poor family she would normally have no chance to get a good education. But through our help (and the help of Father Bonaventure, a Missionary of Africa from Uganda) she has to pay only a small part of the total school fees each year. We took some money from the Nazareth Foundation to pay for the first semester (her parents will take over after that) and to buy the stuff required from the school, like school uniform, bed linen, shoes, a suitcase etcetera. Evelina did not own a night shirt (never heard of it), not even a pen and certainly no blanket. While all these things are compulsory at this boarding school.
The parents of Evelina have been feeling connected to Nazareth for some time and are always willing to help Josefa and Nazareth. They arranged, for instance, the cutting and cleaning of the elephant grass for the new house (more about this further on), a big job!
Trevor to School for the Deaf
Trevor (5) is a grandson of the (very poor) chief of our village. When we visited him we found out that Trevor is mute and deaf. He became deaf suddenly at the age of 2, probably because of cerebral malaria. We took Trevor with us to the School for the Deaf (about 40 kilometres away) and had him assessed. Next year, when he is six years old, he will be admitted to this (boarding) school. He looks a very intelligent little chap. The people at the School for the Deaf thought so too. The Malawian Sisters, who take care of the children that are boarding, would have liked to take him already this year. But he is a bit too young still. Next year we will help the family to fund Trevors stay.
Donororganisation Manos Unidas visits Nazareth
Macarena en Beatriz with Josefa
Early this year we admitted a project proposal in which we asked for funds to build a guesthouse at Nazareth from the Spanish organisation Manos Unidas. On the 10th of July people from this organisation came to visit Nazareth. Beatriz and Macarena were impressed with what they found at Nazareth and all the things Josefa is undertaking. Macarena called Josefa 'an octopus', because she is doing so many things at the same time. We had lunch together, with our own organically grown food. Our estate looked its best. The women's group and our own workers received the guests with a song and were ready to answer all their questions. The visitors did not have much time, but we were able to show them everything. Unfortunately Manos Unidas does no longer fund houses. So they can not help us with the guesthouse. But they really wanted to help in some other way. Ineke will, with help from Beatriz and Macarena, make a new project proposal for funding of the women's groups. We could use funds for an irrigation system, two sewing machines and to bring courses for the women to Nazareth.
Maria and 'our' orphans
Maria Chilale from Misuku visited us for four days. She had to let two of her children, Rorda and Lusayo, go back to their relatives, which made us all very sad. Going back to Misuku she took two new girls, twins, three years old. They are not orphans but were neglected by the mother (who has 12 children and a baby on the back) so that the relatives thought it better to give them a future elsewhere. The mother agreed. We went with Maria to fetch these children. The relatives present seemed happy that they found a good solution for these two girls.
Last year Maria's coffee and banana plantation was set on fire. This was a major setback for her. The plants are growing back now, but this year she does not have a crop. Nazareth Foundation helps Maria to feed and take care of the orphans and other children this year.
The orphans are all doing well. Almost all of them are also doing well at school. Only Lughano seems to have a deficiency in her development. She is a very happy and helpful little girl, but not able to learn. A special school would be a solution. But of course there are no such schools around.
We received second hand balls and uniforms from football club VCH from Venlo and from football club SVV from Velden. Seacon Venlo donated 6 brand new footballs. Thank you all very much! We gave the uniforms and one of the second hand balls to a youth group in Mganja. The first football team of Mganja received a new ball and a second hand one. Maria took one ball to Misuku for the children. Next year we will take the other balls to malawi. They take a lot of space in our luggage, so we can't take them all at once.
Our orchard is giving more and more fruits. Oranges, lemons and tangerines, juice fresh from the tree! Tasting good and healthy. And a good example for the village. Our avocado trees are also starting to produce. And we had our first crop of macadamia nuts. We are thinking of planting more of these because we might get a good price for them. We still have to find out what is the best way to get them fit for consumption. Anyone any ideas?
macadamia nuts, still in the pod and before cleaning in a basket
Crops in Malawi were very poor this year. The rainy season started too late and stopped at least two weeks too early. At Nazareth we had a reasonable crop of maize, but very little groundnuts. In our village things are not so bad, but in many places all over Malawi there are people who have almost or even completely nothing. Hunger is expected. The big question is if the government wants and is able to help the people where necessary. In the south of Malawi there were also floods in the beginning of this year. A lot of help has been going that way. We hope very much help will be available for the people who are in need. The next crop will be only in April 2016. Josefa will help whenever she can, and share our crop if needed.
The miracle: starting the building of a guesthouse!
So no funds for a guesthouse from Manos Unidas. But, totally unexpected, we were suddenly able to start building a guesthouse anyway! After changing the design of the house drastically we had a talk with the contractor, Mr, Kandodo (the one who gave us the quotation last year). Because of all the changes we made (abandoning some of our previous ideas and wishes) he was able to build a guesthouse within our budget (some bigger donations and the money from the benefit concert in the Netherlands in January). Four days after receiving the quotation through the phone, Mr. Kandodo came with his workers and started right away. Three weeks later, when Nico and Ineke had to go back to the Netherlands, the walls had already reached the highest point. The next few weeks the plumber will start his part and our own carpenter will come to assist in making the roof and a ceiling of elephant grass. This grass (very hard and strong) will be pressed against the iron sheets with wooden constructions. We chose the elephant grass instead of timber which made a financial difference of almost 6.000 euro! We needed one hundred bundles of elephant grass. Mr. Moyo bought this for us from the people in our village and had it cleaned also by villagers, mostly women. This was a big job, giving our village an economic boost!
The house will have three double bedrooms, a sitting room, a solar shower, toilet and veranda.
[update end of September: The house is almost finished, it only needs to be painted.]
Dear friends of Nazareth,
Firstly we would like to thank you all very much for your (financial) support these past few years! Secondly, we want to say sorry for not sending a newsletter last year. Because Ineke was ill we were not able to go to Malawi in 2013. Our tickets were already booked, but we had to cancel almost immediately because Ineke was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is doing well now. So we were happy to be able to go to Malawi this year. We stayed there from June 13th until July 25th of 2014. Our friend Jürgen Arimond accompanied us for three weeks, just like three years ago.
On arrival at Nazareth on June 14th, we were very warmly welcomed with singing and dancing. Everybody was very happy that Ineke was alive and kicking! Our workers Abetha, Anafonika, Achisale, Fredrick and Frank (our new worker, the son of the old basketmaker from Mganja) had been waiting with Josefa for our arrival, together with their children and some neighbours. Very touching! A beautiful and warm welcome!
A warm welcome!
In addition to the (financial) support that we give to some families who care for orphans, we also support a small scale orphan project in Misuku, in the far north of Malawi, near the border with Tanzania. Maria Chilale, a good friend of Josefa, has taken it upon herself to care for 20 orphans. Ten children live at her house, the other ten with families nearby.
We are very happy with the donation of € 710,- from Mondiaal Platform Venlo. Together with the donations of Nazareth and our friend Jürgen Arimond, Maria will be able to build a house with good sleeping quarters for the children. She already started moulding the bricks. She will also buy a small maize mill, for their own use and to earn some money.
Together with Josefa and Jürgen, we spent some days with Maria and the children. We brought maize from our own fields (maize is the staple food and does not grow so well in the mountains of Misuku) and clothing for the children. Thank you to all who brought us clothes to take to Malawi. It was much appreciated and very welcome!
We had a very good time together. We played music, sang and danced together, not only with the children, but also at the village green. We also had some talks with Maria about the problems she encounters with some of the children. Although they have a good home now, some of them still have (psychological) problems. Like Rorda, who kept skipping school without telling anyone. After some talks with her (and lots of love) she is doing well now. Our mental support is also important to Maria.
Organic farming at Nazareth is going very well. It helps a lot that we got our own water system two years ago. Because now we are able to water the garden also in the dry season, from April to November, where and whenever necessary. Josefa works with natural fertilizer (manure) and compost, according to permaculture principles. And it gives a good crop: this year she harvested 60 bags of 50 kg of groundnuts. She will sell them and the money will be used for the day-to-day costs of Nazareth.
During our stay we have cleared an overgrown piece of land behind the house, to make it into a vegetable garden. It will be an example garden for the villagers, who can see and experience how to get a good crop without fertilizer and chemicals. They can also buy the vegetables that we don’t need ourselves. As soon as this garden is up and running we will invite some women from the village to participate in it.
The fruit orchard has grown a lot these past two years. We started five years ago with tiny trees. Now they have grown big and are starting to give lots of fruit: passion, apples, oranges, lemons, a special kind of big mango’s, grapes, peaches, avocado and macadamia nuts. Elsewhere we already had bananas and papaya. When there is too much fruit to eat, Josefa uses it to make (very nice) fruit wine. In August a drying rack will be made, so Josefa will be able to dry fruits as well. Otherwise the surplus of fruit will be lost because we don’t have a fridge or freezer.
Nazareth is turning more and more into a green oasis. It is situated on the edge of a forest reserve but in a few years’ time we have seen with sorrow in our hearts how this area is being deforested because of the trade in bamboo, charcoal and firewood. People are so poor that we cannot even blame them for it. As a small way of compensation we are cultivating our own tiny forest of local trees in the middle of our property. Last year Josefa also cultivated a thousand young trees and sold them to a reforestation project. In November this year we will again try to grow a thousand new trees. On the field that Josefa owns in Golomoti (about 7 kilometers from Nazareth) we will also plant trees ourselves.
Often students are staying with Josefa to learn Chichewa (the local and, next to English, the official language of Malawi) from her. This takes a lot of Josefa’s time and energy so that other things sometimes have to wait, but it is also an important means of income for Nazareth.
We are sad that during our stay our faithful watchman and gardener Mfumu died after a period of illness. He was buried near Salima, his place of origin. Together with our workers we remembered him and prayed for him.
Mfumu in 2012
Our stay in Nazareth
It started with song and dance. And all the time we stayed at Nazareth there was a lovely and harmonious atmosphere. We sat down together with our workers several times, to express our feelings and wishes and pray together. In between they sang together. Beautiful moments! In this way Josefa and our workers have sat down together every day for the past year to pray for the recovery of Ineke! Heartwarming! During work our people were laughing, talking and singing. We saw how the vegetable garden came into being, we helped shelling ground nuts. Ineke worked in the flower garden and Nico did some simple plumbing jobs.
Because of a new, small solar panel on the roof we now have lights above our dining table every evening and also the possibility to charge phones, music players and even ipads. Last year the electricity grid was extended to Mganja. It does not reach our house yet. Josefa is working on it, but it may take some years before our house will be connected. Until then we have to make do with solar lamps from IKEA everywhere else in the house.
New development: paragliders
Through a happy coincidence we met two very nice people from Canada: Erica en Benjamin. They almost literally dropped out of thin air: they are paragliders and flew from our mountains into our village. They are also working on a project and maybe we can join our projects together. Last year Ben taught a Malawian young man, Godfrey, how to paraglide. Ben made a film of this experience, which won several prices on film festivals all over the world. See for a trailer of the film, more information and beautiful photographs of Malawi: http://theboywhoflies.com/.
Ben, Erica and Godfrey made a tour through the United States of America with this film, to raise funds for their project: starting a school of dreams in Malawi, where foreign paragliding instructors can learn Malawians how to fly, and at the same time support the development of people in Malawi through a community centre and encourage Malawians (especially children) to follow their dreams. See their website: http://www.theschoolofdreams.org/.
With funds they raised during their trip through the U.S.A. Ben and Erica are now searching for and mapping all the places in Malawi that are suitable for paragliding. One of the best spots turns out to be near our village. Near this spot they were going to look for a place to start their paragliding school and community centre.
After Ben and Erica stayed with us at Nazareth for three days, they came to the conclusion that Nazareth might be the right place for it. Their ideas about respect for people, for Malawian culture and for the environment, a preference for organic farming included, really connect with the aims of Nazareth. So we are making plans to work together. Maybe also in raising funds for the guesthouse.
The present house at Nazareth is first en foremost the place where Josefa lives. There are two double guestrooms. Often Chichewa students or other guests are staying there. In the near future we would like to build a second house with the same lay-out as the present one. This house will be a real guesthouse, meant for guests to stay. We have two goals in mind: we need more space for people who want to stay (for longer periods of time) at Nazareth to work with us for the common good and at the same time we will have another means of income for Nazareth through renting out rooms to visitors.
June Walker, a good and long term friend of Josefa, announced in July that she wants to donate GBP 10,000. This will be a good starting capital for the guesthouse. Thank you so much, June!!!!
Father Isaac Mwazambumba of Dedza Diocese is a tremendous help to us in many ways. And also with the writing of a project proposal to ask for financial support for the guesthouse from the Spanish organisation Manos Unidas. For several of the projects of the Diocese he already managed to get financial support from this organisation. He thinks our proposal will stand a chance. Together with him we worked on it. It is ready but for the quotation for the building of the house. Although we already have a builder (well known to Father Mwazambumba) who gave us a quotation, we are not satisfied with it yet. Father Mwazambumba will negotiate with him. As soon as there is clarity about it we will send the project proposal to Spain.
That’s all for now!
On behalf of Josefa lots of thanks and many greetings,
Ineke Hendrickx en Nico Peters
Nazareth Foundation Malawi
5914 BL Venlo
Tel.: 00 31 77 3511770
When we were at Nazareth our project got it's own water supply. An electric pump was installed in the borehole, powered by solar panels on top of a water tower. The water is pumped to a 5000 liter tank on that same tower. From there it goes to the house through a pipe. Now the water is coming out of all the taps. A good reason for a small celebration. No more filling jerrycans or buckets. From now on we can water the garden, flush the toilets, have a shower, do the laundry and so on. This will also contribute to our plans for organic gardening. We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the financing of this project.
When we arrived on the 1st of April Maria Colette was just visiting Nazareth. Three of her orphans were with her. We already knew Lusayo and Lughano. Limbani, a 4 year old boy joined the others recently. He needs a lot of attention and sometimes showes some troublesome behaviour. But he can also be very cute and friendly. They stayed for another week and a half.
It was nice to be together and to be able to support Maria Colette.
When they left they took a lot of clothes foo the children. Thanks to all the donors!
We also visited Embe and Evi, the orphans living at the Gubuduza's place. Thanks to donations of friends they also are able to enjoy a safe and healthy childhood!
After we left they started harvesting maize. Our organic products are groing very well. It was a nice experience to help harvesting the groundnuts. Every day Josefa offered fresh passionfruit juice. A real delicatesse!
Lawrence Beta is our most important companion. He can do everything and he is completely reliable. We can call him any time, day or night, to help us. He even slept in our garden for two nights because a psychotic neighbour was more or less threatening us and one time he replaced our watchman. He can build anything with bamboo: summerhut, fences, garage.
Anafonika and Chisale only work mornings from six till noon at Nazareth. Maybe we can train Anafonika as a cook and housekeeper.
Mganja has got it's own transmitter for mobile phones. Now we can easily communicate with Josefa.. Maybe in the near future there will also be simple internet.
On behalf of Josefa, many thanks and greetings to all
Nazareth Foundation Malawi
Schubertstraat 35 5914 BL Venlo
Bank: ING 4734050 BIC: INGBNL2A IBAN: NL30INGB000473405
February 6th 2012
Today we got the following message from Mr. Ganiza from Malawi: