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.
“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.”