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  • Writer's pictureChristina

August 2022 Mngwangwa Report

It has been 3 ½ years since pastors Thoko and Nixon Nzunga visited Namikango mission and began discussing having a training at Goshen church in Mngwangwa. They have since brought together church leaders for trainings in agriculture (May 2021) and village savings (February 2022) in partnership with Namikango Mission with trainings led by Mr. Faith Somanje. Thirty individuals attended the first training. The group divided into a men’s and women’s group, and they farmed a community field using the methods they learned, in addition to making their own natural fertilizer during the 2021-2022 harvest season. The community field was much easier and cheaper than fields which used traditional farming methods, and the harvest was 2-3 times as much as the same field produced in previous years. Many fields in that area needed to be replanted later in the year due to less rains in December/January, but the community field which was farmed using the methods taught by Namikango did not need replanting and was ready for harvest earlier in the year, when maize prices were highest. The food from the field helped support vulnerable children and women in the community. Sixty-five people attended the village savings training in February 2022. There were extra people because spouses of the original group wanted to attend, and also because five area chiefs wanted to attend. After the training, 48 participants (6 couples and 36 individuals) made plans to reduce debt. These individuals come from 4 churches in the area and have shared the ideas from the training in their churches. Those 48 participants have made compost this year, even though at least 3 lost some natural ground cover when their fields were burned by others, the farming groups came together to help. Ten of the women are already involved in a village savings group, and 6 individuals who attended the training have started new businesses. About 26 people who used to borrow from other community members have not borrowed since the training, and 10 people are now free from debt. The women’s village savings group does continue to make borrowing compulsory for members of the group so that they have money for profits to divide at the end of the year, but otherwise it seems community members have successfully gotten out of debt. The growing men’s and women’s community agriculture groups have already started making fertilizer for the 2022-2023 planting season, and the Group Village Headmen have asked for a special training to share these farming methods with the chiefs. Pastors Thoko and Nixon are ready to plan a follow-up training in animal husbandry in Goshen in the coming months before the rains.

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