Nkhalango Ya Mango, which means Forest of Mangos in Chichewa is the name of the school With Change In Mind built in 2017.
This project is BIG, and will be ongoing for several years.
We recently added a garden in order to grow fresh veggies for the children who attend the school, as well as sell in order to generate income for the school.
We currently have 30 children enrolled. Next year, 2018 we will be at full capacity with 60 children.
This project has been so exciting! There is a lot of work left to do, but we know our volunteers are going to really enjoy participating in the future of this amazing place.
With Change In Mind currently feeds 30 children two nutritious meals 5 days a week all year long. This meal program has a positive effect on the entire community. In 2017 WCIM and its volunteers helped to create a large garden and water pump that now supplies food and potable drinking water to the school. A portion of all the food grown is being added to our food program and allows us to feed the children a variety of healthy foods everyday. The remainder of the food is sold in the community to provide money for garden seeds. WCIM has a full-time paid project manager, Tovia, that works closely together with our agricultural officer (Joseph) to insure a consistent and high quality program is delivered to the children everyday. Tovia and Joseph head up the garden planning and upkeep as well as the food program.
Adding nutritious meals to our kindergarten program has helped reduce absences and has kept students brains healthy and ready to learn.
In 2015 our volunteers in concert with local builders helped to build a learning center and playground that will now be a classroom for the 50 children that participate in the food program. Prior to the construction of this building these children were participating in a daily “daycare” where they were spending 7 hours each day. There was no permanent building, no learning tools and no classroom schedule. Our volunteers brought learning materials for the children and assisted in training the on site staff on how to affectively use these new learning tools. The staff and volunteers also helped to create a daily schedule for the children that will now be in place. We have been able to create a “preschool” atmosphere for these 50 children under 5. Our plan is to help prepare them for primary school and help the caregivers give these children the best start possible. The Community Learning Center is a place that these children and staff can have all to themselves and where focused learning can now take place. We are working hard to continue training the teachers and helpers in order to give them the materials and strategies needed to provide a productive learning atmosphere for the children.
In 2013 our team of volunteers worked along side the caregivers at Adziwa Orphanage to create a large garden. Our volunteers mapped out garden beds, removed debris from the site, and helped to till the land. Once the new garden had been set up a variety of foods were able to be grown. The garden that was started in 2013 has grown over the last few years and now helps feed the entire community. It also has been used as an income generator for Adziwa. Community members are able to use a portion of what is grown to feed the children they care for and a portion can be sold at market. The WCIM food program uses a percentage of the food from the garden to add fresh vegetables to our menu for the children in the daycare/preschool program. The children are now also able to assist the caregivers in the garden and learn how to grow healthy food. The garden is grown without any store bought fertilizers and permaculture techniques are used as often as possible. Our project manager Tovia oversees the upkeep of the garden, while at the same time continues to teach the caregivers new skills to help improve the garden year after year. The large garden has also been used as a training ground for members of the surrounding community. Villagers come to learn from Tovia and then are able to use those skills to improve their own gardens.
The indoor Kitchen was a big project! With Change In Mind board members and community elders recognized that Adziwa was lacking a place where meals could be cooked year round for their community. Prior to the brick kitchen being built meals for over 500 children were prepared on the ground over a fire. A solution was desperately needed. This indoor/outdoor cook house was designed and built during one of our 2 week adventures. Our volunteers worked alongside a local building crew. The kitchen is used 5 days a week in the community and now even serves the primary school that sits near the property. The children who participate in our daycare/preschool program also benefit from the food cooked in the indoor kitchen.
Our program will create an ongoing sustainable Teacher & Caregiver Training Program. This training program will instruct the teacher and aides as well as the children’s primary caregivers on how to help the children stay healthy. This course will teach them the various important milestones for the development of these pre-school aged children including nutrition, hygiene, disease prevention, first aid, signs and symptoms of illness, and types of childhood disabilities. Thus getting them actively involved in the current and future success of their children’s health and well being. We are excited to be using our resources to help develop this incredible program.
In 2013 With Change In Mind funded and assisted in installing a fresh water pump at Adziwa orphanage. This pump continues to provide water for a number of critical uses, including the cooking and cleaning needs of the 23 homes where the orphans and caregivers live. This pump has also been instrumental in providing the needed water for the growing garden that helps to feed families there.
With Change In Mind was told that several times over the last few years water in the surrounding community ran dry. This pump was the only water that was flowing. With Change In Mind was unknowingly able to help an entire community in a time of incredible need.
This has been just another step in the process of self-sustainability for Adziwa Orphanage.
In 2018 With Change In Mind was asked to create a reading and writing program for adults. WCIM was approached by members of the community that live near our kindergarten school. These men and women told us that they wanted to learn to read and write in their local language. We hired a teacher and now these classes run three days a week in the afternoon hours.
The adult students are loving all that they are learning.