The Face-to-Face Project's Malawi office recently traveled to Kenya to conduct a 3-day victory garden workshop for the staff of the Africa Sand Dam Foundation. The Foundation reached out to F2F after seeing our success in Malawi. They wanted to undergo a training workshop so they could begin to teach their communities how to improve food production and develop food security.

*Special thanks to The Charitable Foundation for their support in making this workshop possible.

APRIL 2018: Phalombe & lilongwe, malawi

Cristiano reported back, “I’m really happy with the results we are achieving during this training. The participants have really appreciated the content of the training and are actively participating throughout the 3-days." 

F2F was able to bring permaculture expert, Mr. Cristiano Marinucci, over to Malawi to conduct a series of advanced permaculture workshops. Cristiano, founder of the French NGO Cultures Permanentes, led 7 days of workshops for local garden facilitators to learn more about soil rejuvenation, water conservation, and dry season cultivation.

Two workshops were held — the first in Phalombe District, located in southern Malawi, and the second in the Lilongwe District, in central Malawi. The Phalombe workshop was geared to new facilitators, who were first introduced to victory gardens in late 2017, and was a basic introduction to permaculture and maximizing food production in small victory gardens.

Cristiano discusses new principles and practices that develop more fertile soil, higher yields, and better long-term solutions to food security and extreme poverty.

Site observation and trainings on rainwater harvesting principles and maximizing benefits of different varieties of plants together in the same space.

Construction and use of an A-frame level to mark contour lines for ridges and swales to control rainwater flow.

The second workshop was held in Lilongwe and geared to more experienced facilitators, introducing more advanced concepts and practices to grow food not only in their gardens, but also in woodlots as well as maize fields. In these workshops, permaculture, bio-intensive, and organic farming skills were taught, providing participants with a deeper level of knowledge regarding the relationships between soil and moisture, root health and productivity, and companion planting and increased harvests.

Arrival of F2F local garden facilitators.

Pre-planning session on the tools for realizing a good Permaculture Design (sector analysis, zoning, element analysis, resources analysis).

Demonstration of intensive planting techniques, including double-digging of the soil leads to long-term improvement in soil quality.

Learning the importance of mulching and living ground cover. Teaching good practices such as food forest, intercropping and alley cropping as an alternative to maize monoculture fields.


Since expanding to the Phalombe District of southern Malawi in October of last year, we have created over 700 victory gardens. We conducted a 3-day workshop in January teaching new garden owners to be teachers. 

F2F Program Coordinator, Mada Zulu, leading a workshop for 63 new facilitators in Phalombe.

Gardens Are Growing: Lasiton Khepuwa's newly created victory garden back in November 2017. Just a few months later in January 2018, this is what Lasiton's garden now looks like. 

December 2017: Phalombe, malawi

On December 5, 2017, F2F's chair facilitator team traveled from Lilongwe to Phalombe to meet with Phalombe team leaders. They conducted 5 garden workshops and created 180 gardens in one day. The total number of gardens in Phalombe is now 598.

november 2017: phalombe, malawi

In November 2017, the F2F team from Lilongwe traveled twice to Phalombe to help the Chair Facilitator Team conduct its first garden workshop and organize its first public outreach event. 14 village headmen and nearly 100 adults came out to learn about the Campaign. 

The F2F team also finished its baseline household food security survey, interviewing all 120 villagers who participated in the first 4 garden workshops. The survey captures data concerning agricultural productivity, hunger and nutrition, and gender relations. We included gender relations because we anticipate that the Campaign will result in men taking more responsibilitY with the home victory gardens, overturning the prevailing attitude that activities by the home are solely the work of women.

Phalombe facilitators and one of the 60 families who learned how to create a victory garden

First event for, and hosted by, the local villagers who were trained to be victory garden facilitators

july & AUGUST 2017: Phalombe, malwai

60 gardens were created as part of our expanded work with the EKARI Foundation USA this past July & August.

June 2017: Tanga, TANZANIA

In June 2017, F2F traveled to Tanga, Tanzania, to hold home Victory Garden workshops. workshops took place with about 50 students from the Kigombe Primary School. This was followed by a workshop training their parents the next day. 

*We would like to give a very special thanks to Katy Homans and Mr. Hassan Juma, Headmaster for Kigombe primary school, for making this happen!

February 2017: phalombe, malawi

In February 2017, With the help of 4 F2F facilitators, 35 Phalombe villagers created low-cost high-yield Victory Gardens.


In December 2016, with the help of 3 chair facilitators, F2F taught Victory Gardens to 21 chiefs and leaders from TA Fukumaphiri in Nhkata Bay located in northern Malawi. 23 gardens were created, with plans for the 21 participants to help create hundreds more.

Adress Mayola, a founding Club member, announces that she is HIV+ to a crowd. Because more advanced HIV medicines are not easily available in rural Malawi, Adress has for years struggled with leg and nerve pain. Still, her indomitable spirit continues to inspire all who meet her.

Strong & Positive Mother's Club

HIV+ people in Malawi, and especially those who live in rural areas, still face huge challenges with caring for their health and living without fear of discrimination. HIV+ mothers bear the brunt of this challenge, as they work endlessly to find ways to feed their children and take care of their homes.

In 2015 and 2016, a devastating drought ruined the harvests of rural Malawian’s one main crop — maize — and resulted in over 6.5 million people needing food relief. HIV+ people face even greater challenges, as clinics have run out of basic medicines and opportunities to find food is increasingly scarce.

HIV+ mothers in particular face great challenges as they continuing caring for their families, even as their own health is compromised due to lack of food.

F2F's Strong & Positive Mothers Club helps HIV+ mothers in rural Malawi gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence so they can step out and be public role models who help fellow HIV+ villagers lead healthy, positive lives. 

As more and more women become inspired at seeing such strong, brave women, the Mothers Club has grown from 16 to currently over 40 members in 12 months. Following the lead of older Club mothers, new members know they will learn how to tell people they are HIV+, and to overcome any shame of being associated with the virus.

Public Outreaches and HIV Testing

The Mothers Club carried out numerous public outreach events, surprising large crowds when they announced they are all HIV+, and winning them over with their knowledge, compassion, and spirit. F2F organized HIV mobile clinics to test people at several of these outreaches. Due in large part to the mothers telling people they must know their status, hundreds of people got tested.

Because of this outreach, large numbers of males have gotten tested, chiefs have pro-claimed that they have never seen such strong, proud women before, and men asked if they too could either join the Mothers Club (well, no) or form a club of their own.

Photos Right: Before a crowd of hundreds and over 50 chiefs, F2F's Strong & Positive Mothers Club announced that they are all HIV+. Never before had this audience heard of such a thing. The mothers encouraged people to know their status, become knowledgeable about treatment and care, and stand together to fight HIV stigma and discrimination. 112 people got tested at the mobile HIV testing table that was set up for the day. 4 tested positive for HIV.

As thanks to their ground-breaking achievements, F2F took the mothers to visit Lake Malawi — Malawi’s most treasured landmark. Although only a 2 hours drive away, for most members this marked the first time to see the lake, and jubilation and joyful tears overflowed.

The Rising Stars

HIV+ Youth Inspiring Others to Live With Pride

The Rising Stars boys football team play against other youth groups, as well as teams made up of village chiefs.

Face-to-Face’s RISING STARS TEEN CLUB program helps HIV+ youth learn to care for themselves and their disease. Furthermore, the program encourages them to see their HIV not as a source of shame but as a stepping stone that leads to new opportunities and to them becoming community leaders.

The Rising Stars girls netball team. Playing sports in public is a thrill for the girls.



The Rising Stars are also Africa’s first HIV+ boys football and girls netball sports team. Through sports, the youth learn how to disclose their status in public, motivate people to get tested, and help those who are HIV+ to seek treatment, understand their medication, and deal with HIV stigma and discrimination.

Because of their efforts to assist rural youth groups in fighting HIV, the Rising Stars have met with Malawi’s First Lady, an envoy of congresswomen from the USA, and soccer superstars from other African nations.

Members of the Rising Stars Teen Club