"...Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

--Matthew 25:40

Mission > Gogo Grandmothers Projects


The Seeds of Soy and Joy project targets three of our villages this year to help improve nutrition and food security among the poorest of the poor in these villages. It is a pilot program, planned to be expanded to more villages next year if successful. 

Jean Phiri is our director of the Seeds of Soy and Joy project and Stephen Carr 
gives us valuable advice and connection to the proper seed and fertilizers. Jean set up an assessment of assests and a criteria to be in the program. We are targeting Simiyoni, Kondanani and Kawiya villages near Zomba in Malawi this first year and have chosen 103 participants, which include gogos (grandmothers), child-headed households and single mothers with malnourished children.  

Jean directs the coordinators who in turn meet with the chiefs, 'traditional authorities' and the organizing committees in all 3 villages targeted. They have taught good composting and getting the recipients to prepare their land well in advance since planting does not occur until the rains come in November, December. The coordinators taught the 3 groups a type of 'manure-composting', hands-on with collecting, cutting twigs, husks, etc and mixing with ashes and then counting off their land for planting and planning for hoeing the ridges. 

In August began the soy utilization instruction. This process is very important because it will help them know how else they could use soya, other than just seasoning porridge for young children and selling it for cash.  Comments from all the participants have been that they, "never knew" how to use soya.  They now know how to make fritters, cornbread (Chikondamoyo="love for life"!) and a sweet potato dish (futali) with soy.  They also learned to roast soya and grind it for coffee, and made soy milk from which the children will benefit.

The next phase was for the participants to plant their plots in each of the 3 villages, plus a "demonstration garden". The gogos had the land ready with compost they had made, and the Seeds of Soy and Joy project supplied the commercial fertilizer (so necessary in this depleted soil) and the seeds of soya, peanut and hybrid Maize.

The rains had been steady and sufficient until the middle of February when there was no rain for three weeks in the sponsored villages. We all began in earnest prayer that God would send the rain and save the crops. Rain began again on Saturday February 19. The abundant harvest began in March/April. This project could be life changing for the malnourished children of Malawi, and the old and sick needing good nutrition that is sustainable. Like the maize, the gogos will be able bring back soy to the children's feeding program at the CBCC preschools. It also has the potential of being an income generating activity (IGA) for the gogos.

Charlotte Day describes her visit to Kondanani April 30, 2011. "What an unexpected joy to see the Seeds participants there... as no one knew we were coming. they were shelling the harvested soy beans... then sorting them and winnowing them. It looked like a Biblical scene of women. They also had the ground nuts/peanuts and shelled maize on mats drying in the sun. All this was from their 'community garden' and will go to feed the CBCC/preschool feeding program, giving good protein and carbohydrates to the children. All the participants also had their own Seeds garden which they are harvesting. We hope to get some buyers for the specially researched and propagated soy seed. It will bring more money to the gogos than the ordinary soy. There were comments like, 'Now our children will not be undernourished'; 'We want to make soy meat!'; 'We never knew how to use soy before'. I just hope and pray we can continue this agricultural program and expand it! Other villagers and even other villages, not in the program, want to be a part of it. To God be the glory! And to His people who made it possible!"

We are looking for financial partners who can help us expand the project two or three more years. We would then be able to track the progress of malnourished children in the program and expand it to many more villages and participates next year. 
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