Every year on the fourth Thursday of November millions of Americans across the United States gather with their families and friends for a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings and giving thanks for all the blessings they have received in life.

In sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of a few Americans residing there, it will be just another day.

But despite the hardships and challenges facing citizens of countries where Bread and Water for Africa® works in partnership with grassroots organizations including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and elsewhere, there are tens of thousands who have plenty of reason to be thankful.

In 2016 alone:

  • In Cameroon, more than 250 children benefited from the completion of a school, and another 142 orphaned and destitute primary and secondary school students benefited from school fee support.
  • In Ethiopia, 86,000 citizens are thankful for the medical services they received through five hospitals and a clinic supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, while another 12,400 students benefited from a shipment by Bread and Water for Africa® of 22,000 books which was distributed to 20 secondary school libraries.
  • In Kenya, 74 orphaned an abandoned children are thankful to have found a loving home at the Lewa Children’s Home, while another 400 Kenya students from nursery to grade eight benefited from an education provided to them at the KipKeino school, constructed nearly 20 years ago by Bread and Water for Africa®.
  • In Sierra Leone, more than 76,000 residents are grateful for the healthcare services received through hospitals and clinics supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, 3,000 students and local residents benefited from having access to clean, safe water by a well dug by Bread and Water for Africa® on the school grounds, and another 1,006 students are thankful for the education they received at four nurseries, four primary schools and three secondary schools.
  • In Zambia, 93 orphaned children are thankful to have a loving home which provides for all their basic needs and another 146 children living in foster care are grateful for the food support, assistance with school fees and basic health care support they receive.
  • In Zimbabwe, 207 children are thankful for an orphan feeding program supported by Bread and Water for Africa®, while 35 secondary school students are grateful for the opportunity to continue their education through our school fee support program.

But the credit doesn’t belong to us – it goes to you – supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® who without which none of this would be possible.

 

There is nothing we like more at Bread and Water for Africa® than to see a project we have funded come to fruition and be successful.

bwa-fish-harvest-for-sept-2016-e-news20160914_092003

Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre’s first fish harvest.

Such is the case of the fish farm we constructed for the Kabwata Orphanage & Transit Centre in Zambia. For the past year, we have worked with our partner there Angela Miyanda from when she first proposed the project which would provide thousands of fish for the children of the orphanage as well as generate a self-sustaining revenue source for Kabwata by selling thousands more annually.

Zambians love fish, eating it every day for at least one meal, and tilapia is among the most popular as it is fast-growing, and tasty.

Today, we have come from when a tilapia farm was just a dream in Angela’s mind to the reality of the first harvest with 70 percent being sold to stores in the capital city of Lusaka, and the other 30 percent set aside for the children.

In just a few months, the small tilapia fry have grown to full size and Angela’s crew have been able to harvest them from the two ponds as they prepare for the next batch.

Angela, who also oversees a banana plantation which supplies bananas to the orphans as well as generating a revenue stream for the orphanage, told us at the time of the construction of the fish ponds that “depending on the outcome of the fish project, we may shift into full time fish farming as it is proving to be less labor intensive.”

She also noted that Zambia has been blessed with many rivers and lakes stocked with a lot of fish, however due economic challenges facing the country people are taking fish of all sizes with no exceptions for the smallest ones who have not attained full size.

Even with a ban that is imposed on Zambians from December to March every year that is designed to help the fish breed, it does not help as many continue to harvest fish illegally, Angela told us.

“Fish farming is new for Zambia,” she said, adding “The community is excited with fish farming because it will be sold in the local community.”

As we seek to do with all our partners, by providing funding for capital projects such as fish farming ponds, we are leading them on a path to self-sufficiency, not perpetual reliance.

And thanks to our supporters, we were able to provide the seed money for the ponds which will provide great returns for the children of Kabwata for many years to come.

 

The proverb may be a cliché, but that does make it untrue to say “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

In Zambia, that’s exactly what Bread and Water for Africa® partner Kabwata Orphanage & Transit Centre is proposing to do, albeit on a much larger scale.

Angela Miyanda, director of the Kabwata Orphanage, founded the home in 1998 out of compassion for vulnerable and disadvantaged children in Zambia to provide them basic necessities of life.

“Through the provision of education, shelter, health, nutrition, love and security we try to help the children reach their full potential in life,” says Angela.

To assist in the funding of the orphanage leading to self-sufficiency, she has created a banana plantation, which has expanded over the years because of its success and competent management, as well as a vegetable garden.

IMG_0226 Angela and bananas

“Our long term goal is to achieve self-sufficiency,” said Angela. “In order to do this we plan to expand our income generating projects.”

But now, Angela is busily working on another income-generating project with help from Bread and Water for Africa® – fish farming.

The short, medium and long term goals for the fish farm is to first learn the guidelines to dig a fish pond and gain experience in its operation and then expand from there.

In addition, Angela notes that some of the older children at Kabwata will be included in the project for training as preparation for the time when they move out of the orphanage.

Angela said she has already acquired the land, and that it only takes a week to actually dig the pond, another 10 days to prepare the ponds for stocking and that the time to harvest will be between 90 and 120 days.

Angela is proposing two dig two ponds that will contain 3,000 fish each with additional stocking to occur at six-week intervals for continuation and projects making between $8,000 and $10,000 annually in profits.

In total, Angela estimates the fish ponds will result in the production of 24,000 fish annually. About a third of the fish –8,000 – will be used to feed the children at the orphanage, with the other two-thirds being sold at local markets to raise operating funds for Kabwata towards its goal of reaching self-sufficiency.

She has also already established a relationship with various shops that sell farm produce every day and they will be able to get from the project.

Initially, a group of six people will be necessary to operate the fish farm, as well as a farm manager with experience in fish farming and a supervisor with knowledge of water reticulation.

In requesting grant funding to dig the ponds, Angela comments that Kabwata has been a partner with Bread and Water for Africa® since inception.

“Today we look back at the many achievements and we are amazed at what faithfulness can be when two partners come together for the assistance of vulnerable people,” she said.

“We are aware, that with time, the project will need to stand on its own for its continuity. The time is getting close and indeed we are getting ready to be weaned.

“Words will never be enough to pay our gratitude to the entire team of Bread and Water for Africa®. Children in the project have made higher than they ever expected. They are a testimony of what love can do.

“Thank you Bread and Water for Africa®. We will never disappoint you.”

In Zambia, fresh, clean water is a precious commodity.

And not only is ensuring there is enough safe water for people to drink and for domestic and hygiene purposes difficult enough, it is even harder to create available water resources to adequately irrigate crops.

That is why in October, 2014, Bread and Water for Africa® awarded a $20,000 grant to our partner there – Kabwata Orphanage & Transit Centre – for a water well for its gardens.

Kabwata founder and executive director Angela Miyanda reported in December that the crops have been planted and a reservoir has been constructed to make sure there will be a steady supply of water. The reservoir will ensure that those crops not only survive, but thrive, during their two-month growing period.

“With the reservoir in place, the project will manage to get enough clients that will support the project,” Mrs. Miyanda told us.

“Water is being shared amongst so many residents,” she added. “The area where the project is situated is a farming one and many people have shifted here. After having three wells in place, water was still not adequate for the project. The project has since set up the water reservoir for storage for irrigation.”

The wells, reservoir and irrigation project have paid off in multiple ways.

“Older children have been participating in the daily works around the farm project,” Mrs. Miyanda said. “This opportunity is used as a practical lesson for them to appreciate and learn a skill which may be an advantage to their future. It has inspired and motivated many people who are willing to assist in their own ways. Over the last two years, the program has proven to be a steady source of income. Proceeds made from the sale of garden crops have either been used to sustain and develop the project and/or to assist individuals as reasonable need arises.”

Local communities have been integrated in the program by empowering them with a sense of community participation. Instead of expecting only to receive benefits from the project, they now offer their services willingly to aid in the growth and sustenance of the project. The biggest strength has been the formal training of two staff members for the project. Irrigation and plant maintenance have been formally organized and are being implemented by Kabwata’s own staff.

Despite the success, Mrs. Miyanda is realistic that it is still going to take some time before the garden project can be completely self-sustaining.

“In order to take the project further, we may encounter some challenges which may need your support,” she said. “However, our intention is to have the project stand on its own.”

And thanks to supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® like you, she is well on her way to realizing that goal.

Angela

Bread and Water for Africa® has known for years of the determination and dedication of Angela Miyanda and our partner organization that she founded in Zambia – the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Center, which serves orphans, women and other disadvantaged people.

That is why we are so proud to be able extend our congratulations to Angela for recently being named the Country Winner from Zambia by South Africa’s CEO Magazine in its 2014/15 issue of Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government.

Angela received the award in the “Welfare & Civil Society Organizations” category which recognizes those who “are very active in the field and have acquired an in-depth knowledge of children’s rights, enabling them to make considerable contributions towards improve the lives of children.”

The African Union notes that it is civil society organizations, such as Kabwata, which work with children in Africa and have unrivaled knowledge and experience of their situation which makes them indispensable.

“Their efforts are critical to the sustenance of a morally upright and equal continent,” the magazine noted in presenting the award to Angela recipients from other African countries.

We at Bread and Water for Africa® could not agree more and we congratulate her once again and thank her for all she does to help children and women in Zambia achieve their dreams, and we thank you through your support of Bread and Water for Africa® for helping Angela to realize her dream of helping those most vulnerable.

Paul Mtchotsa

Paul MtchotsaAnother Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre success story!

Read the personal story of Paul Mtchotsa, brought up in an orphanage since the early years of elementary school and now in his third year in college majoring in Mining Engineering at the University of Zambia.

“My name is Paul Mtchotsa and I am one of the many children being brought up at Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre under the loving care of mommy Angela Miyanda.

I have been brought up under the care of Angela Miyanda since the early stages of primary school, through high school, and now even in University. I am currently a 3rd year student majoring in Mining Engineering. I will graduate from the University of Zambia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mineral Science. Kabwata Orphanage provided me with not only the academic skills I needed to succeed but also with a strong Christian foundation and many other invaluable lessons that I will carry with me throughout my life.

I would like to give my special thanks and utmost appreciation to the team at Bread and Water for Africa® for their great works, especially at organizations such as Kabwata Orphanage. It is through your generous support that I and so many others like me are realizing our dreams.

I would like to thank you once again for trusting mommy Angela Miyanda as a vessel for which to touch so many lives. Thank you very much and may God Bless you all.

Paul Mtchotsa”

Learn more about the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre and its Director Angela Miyanda