PIONEERING SPIRIT IN ORGANIC FARMING
Our local partner organisation KODO (Kuthandiza Osayenda Disability Outreach) supports farmers with walking disabilities in the areas of mobility, income generation and food security in Salima, Malawi. KODO offers courses in tailoring and cane chair making. At the same time, all participants are trained in organic farming and permaculture and accompanied in the implementation of these new techniques. Thanks to organic farming techniques, they are able to feed themselves and their families in a healthy manner without having to spend a lot of money on seeds and chemical fertilisers. They pass on their new know-how to others, which simultaneously strengthens their social position in the community.
PHOTO REPORT FROM THE PROJECT IN MALAWI
At KODO there is a special building which houses the courses in tailoring and cane chair making, a permaculture garden and next to it a hostel financed by EcoSolidar with rooms for the course participants.
All course participants are trained in organic farming during their time at KODO. Here, a training on compost production is taking place.
The rooms are tailored to the needs of course participants with walking disabilities, i.e. the beds are built extra low.
Tereza Bute (right) has been trained in tailoring and organic farming at KODO. Today she is a lead farmer. In this capacity, she passes on her know-how to 30 farmers from her village.
Here, Tereza is showing a group of villagers how they can make simple organic compost from existing natural materials so that they do not have to buy chemical fertilisers.
In the village, Tereza breeds rabbits, which the farming families distribute among themselves. Rabbits provide manure for the compost. Tereza continuously acquires new know-how and passes it on to the others. In May 2021, she was able to attend an external training course at the Paradise Institute, Malawi with KODO.
Tereza and her husband are a good team. During her 6-month absence, her husband took care of the household and the children. Both of them saw the training as an investment in the future that is paying off today.
At home, Tereza can successfully apply what she has learned, namely how to make organic compost, which plants to use for pest control and how to provide enough moisture by means of irrigation techniques and soil cover.
Tereza and her husband are harvesting fresh peanuts in their field. They are satisfied with their harvest.
The harvesting is attracting the children from the village, who sit down and help to separate the peanuts from the stalks. On this occasion, the fresh fruits are eagerly tasted.
Dorothy Kabambe has learned organic farming and tailoring at KODO. At home, she sews and sells clothes. The new income gives her self-confidence and improves her social standing in the community.
George Chimpiko, founder and director of KODO, on the road with Dorothy. He himself also has a walking disability. His goal is to enable people with walking disabilities to be able to provide for themselves.
Dorothy has received a wheelchair from KODO. She can use it to go to her field and work there. An important goal of KODO is to provide mobility to farmers with walking disabilities to make them more independent.
Polina Judesi (right) has completed a course in weaving at KODO and has been taught organic farming at the same time. Today she produces and sells small tables and chairs. She makes compost for her fields and she uses local maize varieties, from which she produces her own seeds. This makes her independent of buying expensive seedlings and chemical fertilisers. As a lead farmer, she passes on her know-how to others.
Akim Chifuno is a follow farmer of Polina. She regularly visits him and assists him in overcoming any difficulties. Akim has attended a course in tailoring and organic farming at KODO. He is able to earn a small income by sewing. In addition, Akim has planted a cotton field, for which he makes his own organic compost, and has surrounded it with a number of pest-repellent plants. And what is important, he has found a market for the cotton he produces.
During the Corona pandemic, the training centre had to close temporarily. During this time, the former course participants sewed masks and KODO set up hand-washing stations in the villages. Here, George Chimpiko (left) is visiting a former course participant who is sewing masks.