Permaculture

143 Chiefs Want Victory Gardens

Above: Group Village Headman of Kazitenge Village —
Addressing Crowd at The Face-to-Face Project Victory Garden Event

Kazitenge Village Chiefs Dancing at F2F Event

Overlooked by government and large charities, tribal chiefs are traditional leaders in the everyday lives of villagers. Chiefs command respect and support, and that’s why The Face-to-Face Project works closely with them.
 
In the past 2 weeks, 143 chiefs came to The Face-to-Face Project victory garden events. They all know The Face-to-Face Project doesn’t provide handouts or material goods, and they understand that we require them to create victory gardens at their own homes.
 
The head chief of Kazitenge village, in a red coat above, celebrates with fellow chiefs because most of his residents have victory gardens. He tells other chiefs that his people are growing their own food, without spending money. He explains that villagers are healthier, children go to school, and crime has gone down.
 
Chief Kazitenge urges other chiefs to follow his lead. In 5 districts in Malawi, that’s exactly what chiefs are doing.
 
Demand for victory gardens is sky high. And The Face-to-Face Project believes the sky’s the limit.

Emily Creates 355 Gardens

Face-to-Face Project Garden Facilitator, Emily Kayama, poses alongside husband and wife, Jessie and Shadreck Chindiwo, in their garden in Phunduma village, Malawi.

Emily Kayama, above wearing black, is one of 30 villagers who first learned about victory gardens in November 2017. Emily loved the idea of growing vegetables at no cost next to the home so much, that she asked to be a garden facilitator to help her fellow villagers.  

Emily and 3 other team members have created a whopping 355 gardens in just 8 months, including helping Jessie and Shadreck Chindiwo, pictured here, create their garden. The couple now harvests over 10 vegetable varieties, giving the family good, nutritious food, and saving them from buying food at the market.

Growing Stronger With Victory Gardens

We are so excited to announce that since we launched The Victory Garden Campaign in July of 2016 in Malawi, 15,000 gardens have been created, reaching 1,089 villages, and helping 45,000 families.

Big thanks to all of our amazing supporters. Because of your generosity the Campaign has had a real impact, helping people not only grow enough food to eat, but also earn an income, improve nutrition, lead healthy lives, and become self-reliant. Thanks for being our Champions of Change!

We Know How To Fight Hunger!

Mary Bitoni, above, just after creating her victory garden on November 9, 2017

Last November, Mary Bitoni created an organic victory garden next to her house. Returning to Malawi this week, I met Mary again — actually she ran for us to make sure we saw her garden.

Just two months after she broke earth, her lush garden provides food every day. She didn’t spend a penny and she now harvests over 7 kinds of vegetables.

In Mary’s community, The Face-to-Face Project has created over 700 victory gardens since November 2017.

We know how to fight hunger.

And Mary’s tremendous smile keeps us moving forward.

Mary on January 17, 2018 in her lush new garden

Food For Thought

The underlying belief of our Victory Garden Campaign is simple -- anyone, even the poorest villager, can grow plenty of food to feed their families. 

We met Selina yesterday. 3 months ago, her family was malnourished. Today she has tomatoes, beans, squash, cassava, sweet potato, leafy greens, okra, and more. 

Selina didn't spend a penny to create her garden. No chemical fertilizers. No inputs. And now she has food.

Good, nutritious food.

Thank you, my friends. For Selina, and the many other Malawians, your support has made this possible. 

On The Ground Fighting Hunger: Peer-To-Peer, Face-To-Face

Face-to-Face is delighted to announce we have partnered with the Ekari Foundation to bring Victory Gardens into the Phalombe district in Southern Malawi. 

At F2F, we believe in peer-to-peer teaching to train locals to become garden facilitators who then teach fellow villagers how to create home gardens. These chiefs and leaders then work with other tribal districts, in this case Phalombe, generating a collective sense of inspiration and motivation as villages across Malawi learn that they can grow enough food to eat. 

Last week, F2F brought 4 of our local facilitators to conduct a 3-day workshop near Mulanje, Malawi's highest mountain. After a warm, exuberant welcome, 35 Phalombe villagers created low-cost high-yield Victory Gardens, friendships were formed, and a promise was made that all 225 families in Phalombe would have gardens by July 2017.

F2F Surpasses 2,700 Victory Gardens

F2F arrived in Malawi earlier this week and we wanted to update everyone on all the amazing progress going on in the field. As of February 3rd, 330 NEW Victory Gardens have been planted since our last count in early January.

We have now surpassed 2,700 Victory Gardens created in our three tribal districts since the Campaign's launch in July 2016, and that number is constantly growing.

We are bowled over with the lushness of many of the gardens, and with every garden created we are one step closer to winning the war against hunger. 

More updates to come over the next week, but we wanted to share this very exciting news with everyone who helped make this possible. So thank YOU for your ongoing commitment to F2F and here's to 2,000 more!

Victory Garden Progress in Siem Reap

Amazing progress report from the SCC*F2F Community Center in Siem Reap. Organic gardens, using all natural processes and utilizing very basic permaculture and organic gardening practices, were created by the children of the community center on January 6th. Now, not even a month later the gardens have produced lots of vegetables that you can eat every day, providing good, varied nutrition.

Check out the before and after pics!

Where There's A Will, There's A Way

So it's started!  100+ local facilitator training groups of villagers learning how to create home Victory Gardens. 

Over the past two days 132 gardens were created. 

By the end of the month, over 700 new gardens will be planted. And this will continue through 2017. 

We are going to win the war against hunger, because for the villagers with some new knowledge, where there's a will, there IS a way.

Update From The Field: We Can Learn!

We Can Learn.

Her grave situation made worse by a crippling drought, HIV+ Silva wondered if she and her family would survive the famine of 2016. As part of F2F’s Victory Garden Campaign, other HIV+ mothers and F2F volunteers helped Silva create a no-cost high-yield home garden in August.

By September, Silva’s garden thrived, even though the practices were very new to her.

November 8, this is Silva, in her garden. Silva helped neighbors create their own victory gardens. Silva and her village are surviving the biggest humanitarian crisis in Malawi’s history.

So many people are angry that their government isn’t doing anything for them. Being just angry, and voting with anger, doesn’t solve long-term problems. Doing things for yourself and your community does, and Silva knows she now has food to feed her children.

Compared to August when no one had victory garden, a whopping 60% of homes in Silva’s village now have victory gardens. While millions of bags of food relief for Malawi pile up in distribution pile-up, Silva and her village are counting on themselves to control their future.

We can all learn from this!

Permaculture and Food Security in Malawi

On May 14th, 2015, The Face-to-Face Project held a cocktail party at The Penn Club to discuss the status of our permaculture and food security programs in Malawi. Sponsored by Raana Khan, the evening featured a presentation by Founder and Executive Director Ken Wong, who shared what The Face-to-Face Project is doing to combat hunger, and the remarkable impact the work is having on families and communities in Malawi. Thank you to the long-time supporters and new faces who joined us, and to Raana Khan for so generously sponsoring the evening! 


Update from the field: Permaculture in Malawi

Dear F2F friends, 

Permaculture - that comes from "permanent agriculture". That's living sustainably and organically off the land, and it really could be a matter of life and death here in Malawi - recently picked as the poorest country in the world by one source. 

A huge callout to our friends in Oberlin, Ohio, as well as the Isora Foundation, for helping F2F make such a huge impact and giving the people the ability to free themselves. 

Ken Wong, Founder and Executive Director


Permaculture Training Arrives in Kang'oma

F2F's permaculture initiative has now arrived in the Kang'oma community! Our workshop saw participants from all walks of life; chiefs, community leaders, church leaders, the youths, farmers, and women. It is uncommon to have all these people together in one room, so the fact that the Kang'oma came together in the spirit of education, skill building, and sustainability is especially momentous. This project is sure to unite Kong'oma's people as they work to improve their community.