Serving the most vulnerable      in rural Malawi

  © 2012 AID AFRICA  UK Registered Charity Number 1116336

Winter Report 2015

including October-November trip

OHP Centre- Chiringa life

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Processing Unit

The Processing Unit is a building designed around processing moringa into a powdered food supplement, but also houses the main kitchen and Field Office. The moringa section comprises a “wet” area where the leaves are cleaned before passing to another section to dry,then are ground in our milling machine and stored for distribution as a powdered food supplement.

The “wet” area now has water taps ready for washing, but needs an outlet into the grey-water tank (being constructed) with saline running out from the floor drain into the exterior water gully for natural dissipation across site.  


We have experimented with different forms of drying the moringa leaves - we can’t use the sun directly as they would lose valuable nutrients.  Up to now, our purpose-built solar dehydrators seem to be the most effective. However, the high humidity during the rainy season still needs to be overcome. The dehydrators are more effective than drying on mesh frames but there’s still room for improvement. The next trial will use standard light bulbs, also powered by solar to heat the metal mesh within each unit.

Solar dehydrators

“Wet” area of the moringa section in the Processing Unit


Electricity: Main grid electricity has once again been a headache - supply was erratic at best, sometimes the power was off for many hours, even several days on occasion.

So once again we’ve turned to solar. The panels on the PU roof power the fridge/freezer in the kitchen to protect the precious goats’ milk and vet meds, keep the computers going in the classroom, lighting and projection equipment in the Training Hall and we’ve also brought solar from the PU to the house to run the refrigeration and computers in our offices.

Water supply: Together, Dave and Chris extended the Phala water supply across site to feed into the two storage tanks, and fitted ball valves to better control supply.


We’re waiting for 3 more does to come into season to prove our two young studs, and have moved on 4 of our quality, well-bred bucks into the community to help improve local goat stock.


The Rabbinga Project has not been as easy /successful as originally expected, due to mating difficulties and poor survival of kittens— most likely due to adverse weather conditions. Will be reviewed.


The pass-on aspect of this project has begun, but to speed things up, we added a couple of hens and a cockerel to each of the 4 successful Yankho (our AIDS-affected support group) community kholas.  



Still majoring on moringa, but a bit of a disaster when local goats forced their way through our fence at Makhonja and decimated the trees, breaking down branches in their efforts to reach the leaves. The fence has been strengthened and already new shoots are appearing. The cassava also lost all their leaves to the goats, but it’s hoped the tubers and stems for seed multiplication are still OK.

FGW Training

Malawi’s “Farming God’s Way” trainer presented a successful 2-day Conservation Farming Course in our Training Hall for over 100 participants just after we left to return to the UK.


After earlier indecision about the future of the milk department, the latest gaggle of kids has been encouraging, including 7 promising females. Added to our current 11 breeding does, we’ll be approaching our target of 20.

However, despite their apparent good health, kids can suddenly succumb to illness, particularly diarrhoea, quickly lose form and die, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on them.

Open Hands….

...and so many opportunities to help the needy with knitted blankets, jumpers, clothing, glasses, roof replacements, housing, emergency transport, food, healthcare—and so much more!

to our friends and supporters who empower us to help the most vulnerable — so many have contributed so faithfully and generously—thank you all!

Special thanks!…

Next - 2016