Malawi is one of Africa's smaller countries, a little over 45,000 square miles (117 000 sq km), of which about 20 per cent is occupied by Lake Malawi - Africa's third biggest lake.
The climate varies from cool in the highlands to warm around Lake Malawi. Winter is from May to July and is dry. The rainy season runs from November to March.
Due to the poverty that exists, there are high levels of malnutrition, especially amongst children. The vast majority of those working the land grow maize and peanuts are also becoming more noticeable. One of the biggest cash crops however is tobacco.
Seeds for Africa supports children in primary schools in some of the poorest regions where many children are orphans. Through our delivery partners, the Landirani Trust, we fund vegetable gardens to help improve the diets of the children who would usually only receive a nutritionally poor meal. The vegetables being grown have often never been experienced by the children before such as carrots!
There is a large scale programme of tree planting which has been on-going for some time. Many trees are lost due to them being cut down to provide fuel for brick kiln fires. These are being replenished and many hundreds of fruit trees grown as well to add to the dietary needs of the children.
Due to the inconsistency with water provision, children often have to walk long distances to get water. Seeds for Africa has funded rain collection tanks for all the schools where vegetable gardens and trees have been established.
In some schools, the teachers and children are working on developing their own tree nurseries which will enable them to replenish and develop their orchards even further. This is the kind of sustainable approach which assures a better future for the children.
Kellogg’s in the UK have partnered with Seeds for Africa to support major projects in Kenya and Malawi. Kellogg’s have made a very generous donation from the Kellogg Foundation to help the schools and communities in these locations to grow maize, which is an essential staple of the diet. Most importantly though, the funding has provided fruit trees, vegetable seeds and tools to help ensure a sustainable, self-reliant future.
The funding has meant that 12 schools in Malawi now have flourishing gardens and adequate water provision and the community project in Kenya is allowing the women farmers to beat poverty and even generate income which means their children can attend school.
One of the most wonderful offers from Kellogg’s was to include Seeds for Africa on the side of 25 million packets of Cornflakes, Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and Frosties! This is the most amazing exposure for a small charity such as ours.
Seeds for Africa would like to acknowledge the support from Kellogg’s because without it we would not have been able to achieve so much.