BRINGING THE MOST IMPOVERISHED COMMUNITIES FACE-TO-FACE WITH THE ONE THING THEY CAN COUNT ON...THEMSELVES
Helping those in Malawi and Cambodia break the cycle of poverty
UPDATE: NOV. 2017 - F2F EXPANDS VICTORY GARDEN CAMPAIGN
The Face-to-Face Project, in collaboration with the EKARI Foundation, is thrilled to announce we have expanded our Victory Garden Campaign in the Phalombe District of southern Malawi. We kicked off our victory garden workshops this past November with the aim of creating 15,000 home victory gardens that produce food for 50,000 people within 2 years.
The F2F team from Lilongwe traveled twice to Phalombe to help the Chair Facilitator Team conduct its first garden workshops and organize its first public outreach event in which 14 village headmen and nearly 100 adults came to learn about the Campaign. As of December, the total number of gardens in Phalombe is now 598.
Since the Campaign's official launch in July 2016, we've created over 7,000 productive home Victory Gardens in hundreds of villages in central and southern Malawi, transforming the lives of thousands of villagers. With each new garden, local community members gain the skills and knowledge they need to grow enough food to eat, earn income, improve nutrition, and lead healthy lives.
These low-cost high-yield home gardens are delivering long-term, sustainable relief to families. The Campaign improves the quality of life for all residents in a village — the more food people can grow, the stronger and more resilient a village will be. Victory gardens are easy to create, cost nothing for the villager to maintain and produce food within weeks.
F2F trains local people to be role models in their own villages. Villagers carry this knowledge for a lifetime. That is why so many villages have achieved remarkable participation rates in less than a year. This guarantees good gardens in every village and builds a sense that change comes from within.
“We no longer travel long distances looking for vegetables. Now we save money & channel it to other household items such as soap & salt.... Our lives have completely changed.”
— Chief Makulenje
Local community members like Silva Namikula wondered if she and her family would survive the famine of 2016. After learning about F2F’s Victory Garden Campaign, Silva decided to gain the skills and knowledge needed to fight her own war against hunger and drought by changing how she grows her food. Together, we were able to achieve that goal by creating her very first Victory Garden in August 2016.
By September Silva’s garden thrived, even though learning new farming practices that make the most out of minimal water availability were very new to her. By November, Silva helped her neighbors create their own Victory Gardens, and compared to August when no one had a garden, a whopping 60% of homes in Silva’s village now do! Silva has now also created her second Victory Garden.
Many villages saw dramatic increases, due in part to neighbors teaching neighbors. Since home gardens are visible to everyone, people are naturally curious about these new sources of food, helping them re-envision the area around the home that is traditionally left as hard packed clay that is swept clean everyday.
While millions of bags of food relief for Malawi pile up in distribution centers, Silva and her village are now counting on themselves to control their future. The Victory Garden Campaign succeeds because it puts the skills and knowledge into the hands of those that need it most, ultimately making it productive and lasting.
August 2016: A garden, one of the first in her village, is created in Silva's old house that had collapsed.
February 2017: This garden is now producing a constant supply of food for Silva and her family.