As the vision for Oasis Care continues to grow new timelines are in place with new projects. The original aim to get a market garden up and running is currently happening and all crops are growing well.
Breaking New Ground
This year we have planted peanuts that have really taken off and we can’t wait to see (taste?) the end result. They are also a few experimental plants – mainly the green, leafy vegetables. In the past we have had trouble with these being very bitter so we are trying to see if they can get the soil right to grow them. We are still waiting to see the results as Benson puts his best into the work.
Our efforts in the next few months will be to get the chicken shed finished and our first batch of chickens growing and laying eggs.
Who are the Children?
We have information on 40 children but sponsorship advertising is having a slow response so far. We need to do a lot more work on this as currently there are 150 orphans that don’t go to school. We would love to see a sponsorship programme to make this possible.
The staff in Zambia are currently following up these children and talking to their families with a view to starting sponsorship in 2016 -17, even though it requires a lot of work to get started.
Possible Solutions for Widows
We also would like to empower the widows to start earning a living and are looking at ways to do this. Teaching tailoring is a possibility since some sewing machines donated.
The cost of living in Zambia is rising all the time. A bag of mealie meal has almost doubled in price in recent months. This is making supporting our staff difficult. It is also increasing the amount we spend on seeds, fertilizer, etc for the garden project which could mean we are unable to feed as many children in coming months – this is an ongoing problem.
Zambia has also sold most of their power to Zimbabwe. The whole nation is experiencing power outrages of up to 12 hours a day. This is expected to increase and may even reach a total blackout in coming months. Plans to bring electricity to the farm are on hold for the time being as it would be counterproductive to do so. It will also delay getting the chicken shed operational. While we can heat with braziers it is much harder to control the temperature this way and we risk losing chickens. We are currently relooking at ways to make this happen without relying on electricity, possibly by bringing solar power to the farm. So we are discussing this with some companies in Zambia.
The greatest need of the moment is fertiliser and manure for vegetables, and funds to complete the chicken shed. The Board of Oasis Care is really starting to take responsibility for what they are doing and are looking for ways they can generate income for themselves with local community help. They have begun setting measurable goals as they set out to achieve this. Our donations help to put these orphans and widows on their feet. To donate click on the Ezidebit button below.