A great example of micro-finance in action!
The staff of Lirhanzo Children’s Village wish to apply to AFADU for microfinance of $420 to build a bread oven and set up a bakery within the LCV grounds.
This will provide staff with an opportunity to raise funds to top up their wages and create a fund to assist staff with health and other emergencies.
The Lirhanzo Children’s Village and its surrounding community is isolated from the nearest town (Chikombedzi) and lack of transport and poor roads make access to services and food supplies a significant issue.
Bread is an important component of the local diet, but there is nothing currently available in the immediately area.
People wishing to buy bread have to go to CHikombedzi Growth Point.
With the school also being part of LCV, there is plenty of potential for sales to local people. It is felt by the LCV staff that there would be good demand for bread.
Plans are afoot for LCV to build a bread oven of commercial size – the staff have agreed that they would be able to make bread for sale as well as providing bread for the children at LCV.
The profits made from the sale of bread will be used to top up the salaries of the staff with the aim of meeting government salary requirements.
A side benefit of having the oven is that training can be provided to the children in bread baking.
AFADU recently supported the building of a house for our expert grinding mill operator.
The Grinding Mill was built at the end of 2010 from project funds supplied by Delphine Archer and the Archer family.
It has developed into an income-generating project for LCV and the miller, Mr Tadious Mbedzi., now pays his wage out of profits.
Tadious has been living in the mill, however, the structure is not only dusty and an unhealthy environment to sleep, it is not weatherproof and would be freezing cold in winter.
Permanent all weather house available for whoever takes on the position of ‘Miller’.
The permanet house and grinding mill facility will also provide work opportunities for local men and will allow them to earn extra income for their families.
The building was commenced in mid 2015.
A square concrete slab was poured and bricks were made for the outside structure, however, because other building work was prioritised the bricks were utilised for other LCV projects.
US$300 has been supplied to complete the project by AFADU.
These funds were raised by the sale of hand crafted baskets – made by local women in the community and transported back to Australia for sale following the the 2015 AFADU Field Trip.
This is a real story of the community investing in itself to create self sustaining businesses.
This community development project has proved highly successful in provided employment and sustainable support to the surrounding community
Sponsored with the generosity and love of Delphine Archer and her family, the Grinding Mill was established late in 2010 and has been fully operational since 2011.
This income generating project creates a community meeting point to further generate sales of vegetables from the LCV Garden and bread from a planned brick pizza oven
Local farmers no longer need to travel long distances on foot to grind their grains and there has been a reduction in costs for mill charges for the Lirhanzo Children’s Village.
As a bonus it provides employment for our older orphans.
Grinding mill operators have been employed and trained on the job and are learning the basics of engines and their daily maintenance and care.
Other positive benefits include reduced operating costs for the Lirhanzo Children’s Village and as a flow on, for the teaching staff at the school and the families who work at the village they are now able to now grind their maize and wheat for free.
It’s only a small incentive but reduces the time spent travelling long distances to other far away mills which in turn saves them money.
Accountability is important to AFADU and LCV.
Financial management systems for mill revenue have been introduced with a paper ticketing and receipt process.
AFADU receives quarterly reports on the Grinding Mill and its output levels and 496 buckets were ground between July and September 2011. 36 were for LCV home and 18 for LCV staff and teachers.
The project is able to cover all wages and running costs and the profit produced goes directly to LCV to support the needs of the children living there.
I think that all will agree that this project is now working and the growing problems are sorted.
The community is now dependent on this project and quickly complains if the mill is not running.
Eliphas is the best miller we have had and he is here to stay.
He is very good with the public, always very friendly, never complains and knows how to take care of the mill.
From May 2013 to April 2014 we made a total profit of $846.70 – most of this went to both LCV orphanage and the school.
We are keeping 10% of the profit each month to pay for maintenance and repairs.
We have finished harvesting both sorghum and maize.
We expect lots more grinding this year as people had bigger harvests”
– Ezelle Schimper