Below you will find a short impression of our project Food For LiFe Nederland. This project is focused on creating food security in Malawi. Malawi is a country in the southeast of Africa and is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is three times as big as the Netherlands and has the same amount of inhabitants.
In Malawi we help farming families to grow their own food. We teach them how to do that and we give them the needed seeds and fertilizers. In 2012 we started with 27 families. Last season, 2100 families joined. In December 2017 we started with 3.500 participants. Under normal circumstances this means 10 million plates of nsima porridge, in other words it means that 27.000 people can be fed for a whole year.
Our system is a derivative of Farming Gods Way. Which means that we adapt to the worldwide changes in weather. We use compost and daily dew. With our system there is seven times more output with 50% less work. More important, we are considerably less depending on rain.
The results of our project are mind-blowing. In the mountainous warm south, in the flat areas along Lake Malawi, in the extreme dry areas in the middle and in the high-altitude areas in the north – the profit of the harvest is considerably high, despite the bad harvests over the last three years in the entire country. The traditional system produces 10 bags of harvest. In the last season our farmers had an average production of 63 bags, with a maximum of 105 bags.
All staff members in the Netherlands and in Malawi are unpaid volunteers. They are wholeheartedly and enthusiastically committed to the project Food for LiFe.
Participants work together in groups of seven. These groups are led by a leader and all the leaders together also form a group. Together they form a committee. A committee has 343 (7x7x7) participants. Three committees together are led by a manager. On a daily bases the project is broadly being directed from the Netherlands through digital channels. Three times a year the project will be visited for a month. This system is very effective and efficient.
In central Malawi a group has been formed that will transfer the knowledge and skills to all the new participants throughout Malawi. This is a very successful way of working done by very driven and involved committee members.
Output development corn harvest
First year of participation 20 bags 1.000 kg
Second year 40 bags 2.000 kg
Third year 60 bags 3.000 kg
Fourth year 80 bags 4.000 kg
Fifth year 100 bags 5.000 kg
Enriched compost needs several years to improve the soil. It takes a while before people have entirely let go of the traditional system.
The numbers above show the averages of various groups.
Theoretically this can grow up to 150 bags, a total of 7.500 kg.
The participants (except from the widows) in return hand off 40% of the harvest to our organisation. The profit will be used to finance more participants in the following year.
Recently a non-governmental organisation (NGO) Food For LiFe Malawi has been founded. The four board members are well educated Malawians who work at key positions within their country. This NGO has developed a capacity building plan on their own and will be executing the project. The government has discovered the success of our very simple system. The vice-president of Malawi, Rt. Hon. Richard Msowoya, MP, has personally offered his help after he thoroughly investigated our project.
Funding in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands we sell furniture, both for living and for the office (in the Goede Doelen Outlet and in our showroom at the Rondweg 90 in Wezep).
Because we do not have to pay for the housing costs and we only work with volunteers, the entire gross margin can be used to finance the project.
The Dutch board of Stichting The art of Charity consists of three members.
The costs of the project are calculated as followed:
Direct costs per participant 25,00
Education participants 12,50
Other project costs 12,50
Costs per participant 50,00
The profits of the project are budgeted as followed:
Gross margin sell showroom 50%
Other support 15%
Donations from churches 5%
Donations from individuals 5%
2.000 participants 100.000 Euro
4.000 participants 150.000 Euro
The actual figures differ from the prognosis.
Actual number of participants:
Expansion is necessary for sufficient impact and motivation.
The ultimate goal is creating food security. This is why it is important that participants also apply our system, Food for LiFe, to their own land. Last season it turned out that some of the first participants (27 participants from 2012) now are also able to grow corn in a cost-effective way on their own land, at which all the work was outsourced in parts. The expectation is that the news that people can grow corn cost-effective with this system will spread quickly over the entire country. Though, in every area the established tradition must be overcome. That is why the expectation of the number of people that also apply the FFF program on their own land is equal to the yearly numbers with a delay of four years.
It is surprising that, not only many people indicate that they want to join, but also that many people have been applying our system on their own land. The spin off we have founded is 1.200 farmers in Salima. The government is making an inventory of how many farmers are involved in Malawi. The expectation is that it includes many thousands. Besides that, other aid organisations now also include our system in their programs, for example Stichting Timotheos. They started in the far south with 120 farmers.
Many projects in developing countries fail because of a decreasing commitment of those who started the project and because of unexpected corruption, which causes substantive amounts of money to disappear. Stichting Charity tries to install as much as possible securities to prevent this from happening. In the Netherlands preparations are being made to guarantee the continuity. Money is being transferred in exactly fitted amounts to the different districts. Besides that it seems like a system is within reach that acquires consent from the Netherlands.
You can read more in our projectplan.
In the beginning of 2017 we stopped selling used furniture and started selling new furniture. Through our website www.livingfair.nl we have connected ourselves to several web shops. Here you can find a lot of new product for your interior design. When you have found something you can ask for a bid proposal through us. After you have given your consent we order your choice. We then get a part of the amount you pay. You pay the amount that is shown on the website. You do not pay any extras. We deliver your order at home and you have the same guarantees. You pay at the delivery. In our showroom you can see and buy a part of the collection.
The same applies to the office furniture. Here it is still new and used furniture. For office furniture look at our new website www.officefair.nl. You can also look at www.zitmaxx.nl. It is important that you order through us, otherwise our partners do not know you are ordering on our behalf. We have been able to considerably expand our group of volunteers. That is why we are now open on Thursdays and Fridays from 14.00h till 20.00h, so also in the evening, and on Saturdays from 10.00h till 16.00h.
Stichting The Art of Charity
Groote Woldweg 22
Bo Teerling chairman
Mobile 06 51 35 93 92
IBAN NL29 RABO 0118 3557 32