Contributed by Eleanor Howard, a student at Marquette University in Wisconsin, U.S.A., majoring in Environmental Engineering.
This summer, (winter in Malawi) I was given the amazing opportunity to be an intern at a local non-governmental organization in Malawi called Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology. My passion towards environmental issues gave me the greatest motivation to join Kusamala as an intern as I knew I could grow my knowledge of environmental issues while practicing environmentally conscious procedures. My time working with Kusamala exceeded my expectations, and I am returning to school with a new outlook on sustainable farming and agroecology. Kusamala has implemented several projects that address different environmental issues, including deforestation, pollution, soil erosion, food and nutritional insecurity, and many others. Kusamala granted me valuable insights on the harmful effects of fertilizers and pesticides, as well as taught me a new approach to gardening that is much more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and produces significantly higher yields called permaculture. I had never heard of permaculture before coming to Malawi, and I am excited to introduce to my fellow Americans the various unique practices taught by Kusamala.
During my time at Kusamala, I worked either in the office or in the gardens. In the office, I helped to edit or write educational documents such as reports, success stories, or blogs which were key to achieve various outreach strategies. In the gardens, I tended to the many trees, fruits, vegetables, and other plants Kusamala grows by watering, weeding, and transplanting. Through this work, I developed an understanding of permaculture and what makes it so beneficial to both the environment and to the individual implementing these practices. I also developed marketing, composting, and gardening skills that I believe will aid me the rest life. I learned how to use all resources available efficiently and effectively, among many other permaculture principles.
The overall goal of Kusamala is to see Malawians become self-sustainable by producing their own crops in a low-cost and less environmentally taxing way. This goal is accomplished by teaching the surrounding community members on how they can maximize land productivity by using all resources available to their full capacity. This perspective is advantageous to both the environment as well as to the citizens of Malawi, who are primarily subsistence farmers.
Lastly, the staff of Kusamala plays a large role in the productivity of the organization as a whole, as each and every one of them care deeply about their work and helping others. Everyone was very welcoming and kind, and I feel very lucky to have been able to work alongside these wonderful people and to learn from them. Thank you Kusamala for the amazing past three months where I was able to develop new skills that will assist me in my future education and career- and for all the fun!
The Netherlands, 19-07-2020
Dear sir or madam,
We, of the Stichting Deaf Care Malawi (SDM) are active in the Netherlands for three deaf schools in Malawi, already several years.
To support teaching and training of deaf pupils.
The schools are located one in Mua, the other one near Limbe, Maryview. and further in the south Mountainview.
Our students are doing an vocational training after their study there. But Permacultuur is not yet included.
Our question is; what do you have to offer to young people who have graduated, for a training of Permaculture,
we think of a few students perhaps with their teacher, who can also help in communication.
So an course tailor-made specially for them, or together with other students.
We have seen that Permaculture can make a big contribution in the fight against hunger and dependence on rain and other products in Malawi.
So our questions are|:
• What can you offer,
• how long is a training,
• what are the costs,
• where is the training option.
We are curious and looking forwards to hear your answer
With friendly greeting
Ms. Yos Appelhof
Board member SDM in the Netherlands
Met vriendelijke groet,
Hello Ms Yos Appelhof
Thank you so much for your comment. Please email all your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.