Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

Getting the Staff Trained, Having Fun, and Making a Large Impact!!!

Nov 21, 2016

We recently sent three of our staff members to Crown Ministries nearby in Blantyre to receive training in several different areas such as conservation, agriculture, finance, business and life skills like bee-keeping and mushroom growing. Our guys who have been trained are eager to share what they’ve learned with others. The first place we decided to start was with our own Mission Staff!!

We conducted a three-day training on campus for all of our staff in order to share this knowledge and these skills with them. The training was half class work, and half hands-on-demonstration. The Staff learned about how to use a super-fruit found in Malawi, the Baobab fruit, as a nutritious supplement via juice and jam. They also learned about composting and other agriculture techniques along with handling personal finances. In addition to gaining knowledge, it built staff unity by allowing us to participate and do the hands-on projects together: a great blessing for everyone involved!

When we are able to help people in their daily needs, they are not only ready to listen to the story of the Love of Jesus . . . they are anxious to hear.

Hope 1000

We were recently approached by the group that provided this special training to our three staff members and invited to participate with them in a hunger relief effort that would work towards the sustainability of the same families long-term. We were requested to send four more local community and/or church members to a two-week training at Crown. There they were with 19 others from different communities. Here is a word from Johann van der Ham, the overseer of this project at Crown:

“Over the past week these trainers have heard the Gospel, responded to God's love, and learned who they are in Christ. They learned the value of minimum soil disturbance, mulching, and how to turn organic waste into high-quality fertilizer. They saw how to grow vegetables in a new, sustainable way and they learned what the Bible teaches about money. In a very short time, we were able to see a highly motivated team of trainers.”

We saw the same. After the training, these “lead farmers” from our area would each be responsible for selecting 50 other members from their community and to provide them with the same training they had received.

Put to the test

These 50 community members would be responsible for sharing what they had learned and putting their training into practice on a small portion of their own land – one-quarter of an acre. Most Malawians have something around half an acre to an acre for gardening. With this quarter acre, 52 rows of maize(corn) will be planted, the goal will be to show that each row can feed a family of six for one week, thus feeding the family for weeks; an entire year. This really surprised people and sparked interest as most people’s full crops will not last for the whole year. As a bonus, those who have implemented such planting techniques will then be eligible to receive seed and fertilizer for the planting of their crops and thereafter, food packs will be given to each participant.

The same program will take place in four other communities. This will equip a total of 1,000 people with the knowledge, skills, and physical aid for long-term sustainability.

Johann van der Ham came out and visited our area to check up on our lead farmers, and the visit was very encouraging. One of the lead farmers we spoke with had already identified and trained 50 other individuals, including three of the village chiefs in his area. This creates a strong, positive influence of this new method of farming for the rest of the village.

One of the men was so taken by the new methods that, although he had already prepared his two-acre field in the normal planting method, he went back and re-did it in accordance with what he had learned. Ground cover or mulch is one of the important aspects taught and this man went all around the village gathering enough grass and weeds to cover his entire plot.

This was done without his knowing there wouldl be assistance coming to him atthe end of this training. We have been greatly encouraged by this and by the work done by other lead farmers in our area.

We have learned a lot in the partnership about how to bring together three desperately needed parts during this hunger time: 1) immediate relief, 2) a sustainable crop that will make a difference long term, and 3) the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This project has allowed us to do all three. We are also hoping and expecting that what we are doing now will be duplicated in other areas. You can be a part of this effort as well, with your support and with your prayers.

Ben Hayes