Project Insight: School Kitchen Block In Kiwe

13th July 2015

Phase 2 brings with it exciting news – the start of a new project with a new project partner. Working together with the Southern Highlands Participatory Organisation (SHIPO), a local non-governmental organisation, Alpha 5 are currently working on the construction of a dining block at the primary school in Kiwe, a small village in the Iringa region, about 10km from the shores of Lake Malawi. Whilst there, they are also engaging in awareness raising campaigns on a variety of topics. Prior to Phase 2, Louise, Kev and Mima travelled out to have a look at the site and to meet SHIPO and other important members of the local community. Here is an account of their visit: Kiwe Project Site 600 The foundations of the block have been laid by the local fundi (builders) As we set off on our long journey south to Kiwe, our excitement was palpable. There was also a bit of nervousness mixed in; we were meeting new partners and going to a new project site. No pressure… After 12 hours of driving along dusty tracks, the road climbed through a valley and we arrived at Kiwe. The village sits in the foothills of the Livingstone Mountains, with its primary school attended by children from Kiwe and a number of other surrounding villages. Our campsite was located on the local football field and flanked by gorgeous mountains. We arrived to an incredibly warm welcome and a chorus of “mambo!” from the community. We met Benny there, a representative from SHIPO, who showed us around the village and introduced us to the project site. On visiting, it was clear that building work had already started in preparation for the arrival of our Volunteers next week. We then sat down with Benny and the Village Executive Officer to explore the village’s expectations of the Raleigh team, outline the proposed work schedule and discuss some of the project tasks. We also considered potential themes for future awareness raising campaigns, such as water and sanitation, hygiene, nutrition and horticulture. We also gave them some examples of activities for achieving our goals, such as constructing tippy taps and sack and keyhole gardens*. Following the meeting, we were approached by the school principle, Isaac, who was excited to hear of our plans. Isaac and the team discussed arranging a sports day with the children of the school that would centre on some of the campaign themes. VMs with Benny 600 Louise and Mima, two of our Volunteer Managers, with Benny from SHIPO We thought that our only evening in Kiwe was going to a quiet one, until to our surprise we saw some lights walking up the hill in the distance. Members of the local community brought up a meal for us to share with them around the fire. It was a lovely moment. Sitting there, we talked about life in the village and the upcoming project. We left excited by what promises to be a fruitful partnership with the Kiwe community and SHIPO. We cannot wait to get started and update you on progress there. *Sack and keyhole gardens are a means for families/communities to produce their own sustainable source of food. A future blog will explore these in greater depth.