I know this is a boring photo - yeah, the logo of a company on the side of a truck. Yippee! Not. But actually it is. If you're working to help a community there is no sense in reinventing the wheel when the wheel already exists. That's what I like about World Vision. They work along with many other organizations who already have the knowledge so that change happens quicker - and better. I've been to humanitarian conferences and am always pleasantly surprised at the number of groups who have told me they've worked in partnership with World Vision in this country doing this and this and this. I think that's cool. It saves costs and it uses the expertise that is already established. After all, if the wheel is already invented ...
Showing you two photos today. The top one is of the house that this family used to live in - holes in the walls, and a grass roof that let the rain in during the rainy season and constantly needed repairs. The bottom photo is of their new home - sturdy walls, tin roof, and needing little maintenance in the years to come.
The reason for the difference? This woman joined a World Vision community loans program and received a no interest loan so she could provide a better home for her family. The husband and wife will pay the loan back - but as they can and when they can - with no pressure from a bank that demands high interest rates.
Another wonderful story to share from Malawi.
In case you're in need of a little protein you may want to try out one of Malawi's delicacies: dried grasshoppers. Children use these many pronged arrow like sticks to spear their prey, then pin their captured grasshoppers on a long stick. When the stick is filled, the kids stand alongside the road and any passer-by can purchase them for a few kwacha.
If you're not in the mood for grasshoppers, small mice and birds are also popular. To capture the mice the boys set a small plot of dried grass on fire, and when the grass burns, exposing the mice holes, the boys simply bang on the holes and the mice run out of their exits to meet their untimely demise from a well aimed miniature spear. It's not a favourite meal among the upper class Malawians, but when food and money is scarce it's something to fill the belly.
Didn't try it, I must admit.
Had to share this photo! Two elephants greeting each other on the shores of the Shire River in Malawi. Such an awesome thing to see. We came upon this herd of 50 elephants one morning and stayed for a long time just to watch and ohh and awe! over the whole experience. Saw the young males in the group swimming and playing in the water, others spraying mud over themselves, while the mothers coaxed their young into the water to cool down. So beautiful. Nice to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat safe from nasty poachers.
This is amazing. A solar powered water system that World Vision and the people in a community in Malawi built to pump water from a main well to seven surrounding villages. Smiles result of progress.
My journey as an author, giving voice to child soldiers.