Aid Africa (Open Hand Projects)

Though a small charity, Aid Africa has worked in the impoverished rural areas of Malawi for nearly 20 years, continually impacting the lives of some of the poorest people on the planet. We work in food and water security, reforestation, education & training, livestock projects and community infrastructure, encouraging personal responsibility and community development, while supporting the frail and most vulnerable.

Aid Africa (Open Hand Projects)

1642672023_ohp_outside_+_nov_2018_dm1-_p1010590.jpgAs Open Hand Projects, we run an exciting group of interrelated and innovative projects to encourage and benefit thousands of disadvantaged and vulnerable folk in the poverty-stricken rural areas of Malawi.

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Hunger is the main challenge as villagers struggle to provide enough food for their families from their impoverished soil and extreme climate.  We help many with food tokens, vegetables and seeds all year, but our main Food Programme becomes operational at Christmas, supporting hundreds of the most vulnerable families through the 3-month “hunger period” when the frail are at most risk. 

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Crowds patiently waiting - the distributions will provide the basis for over 100,000 meals....

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Hundreds of families receive maize and dried soya meals - enough for100 meals each month, plus soap for personal hygiene and laundry.

Each fortnight we host "Elderlies Luncheons", a popular event on site, where dozens of older folk enjoy a nutritious meal, with enthusiastic singing and dancing, catching up with old friends, and making new ones.... 1642675721_eld_-_row_-_redu_+_p1010972.jpg

Water supply is an ongoing challenge in the rural areas, mostly met by village borehole pumps. We empower villagers to take responsibility for their own supply by training in the value of regular maintenance, encouraging budgeting for the able-bodied to pay a small monthly tariff to finance qualified labour and parts, and once established, we do a major overhaul of their pump to start them off. Broken pumps force families to drink from potentially polluted water sources, risking water-borne disease and deteriorating health.1642677460_kambalame_shallow_well_borehole-_cr_3_+_em_4th_dec_2020.jpg

This was the only water source locally, so villagers had to use jars on sticks to get the water - painfully slow, frustrating and always congested ....1642677767_kambalame_finished_repairing_+_crppd_2-_jan_2021.jpg

Now water flows freely and the pump is protected from theft while allowing access for maintenance.   Over the years we've restored clean, safe water to many thousands of households.....

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Education is key to development but many struggle to fund their children through secondary school. Our communities are mostly based on subsistence agriculture, with what they grow targeted towards survival, with little or no surplus to trade. With no other source of income it means that affording even daily basics is a challenge, and funding education impossible for many families.  So we step in, funding school and exam fees, uniforms, sanitary wear and safe housing for girl students.

 

Reforestation

Our Tree Nursery provides thousands of seedlings for the communities, selected to provide timber, firewood, nutrition and green manure.

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Local school children learning about the value of reforestation, and receiving seedlings to plant around their school....

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One of our latest projects is establishing Moringa Groves—the planting of moringa trees in native woodlots, to boost nutrition and overall village health. The delicious tree leaves are packed with high-grade nutrients suitable for human consumption but were unappreciated locally due to lack of nutritional information, and destruction by grazing livestock.  So we’re setting up Moringa Groves in a growing number of villages in 2 districts, protected from livestock with bamboo fencing panels that can be moved to the next location as soon as a planted living fence is established. Additionally promoting the value of affordable compost over expensive fertiliser, the Groves are run by trained volunteers, and will provide nutritional benefit for decades to come.

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After training, and preparing compost, the land  is cleared, measured and marked, tree pits dug, seedlings planted and modular fencing panels erected.1642680258_irrigating_bilisoni_mgp_+_rotd-cr.jpg

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After just 4 months the first of the leaves are harvested - and eaten as a nutritious green vegetable -  promoting bushier growth.

Community Construction and Infrastructure

We also help with community development—building Community Centres, bridges, toilets, water pipelines, livestock projects, replacing roofs and rebuilding houses for the ultra-vulnerable—especially supporting the elderly, orphans, those living with disabilities and the AIDS-affected.

Susan's house was destroyed in storms....

1642762645_susana_pagona's_house_-sharpened_p1000339.jpg1642763425_susan_and_new_house_-dscf7408.jpgA few months later - Susan and her young family, delighted and relieved to have a secure and comfortable new home

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Our Community Centres house nursery schools, after-school clubs, health check clinics, civic meetings, and even provided safe temporary housing when a cyclone tore through the area ripping off roofs, destroying houses, and flooding the land.

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Thousands of lives changed, but with your help we could do so much more.....