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Kumbali Projekt e.V.

Carpenter Permaculture

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The Country

Background

Malawi Kindergarten Team

Permaculture

Volunteer with us

The Association

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News

Gallery (2009-2012)

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About us

Kumbali Projekt e.V.
Grit Wagner-Strohn
Brunnweinbergstr. 2
D-71334 Waiblingen
Tel.:+49(0)7151 277003
Fax: +49(0)7151 277004
Mobile:+49(0)17627180767
mailto:kumbali@railcat.de
URL: http://www.kumbaliprojekt.de

Privacy statement

Projects

Our philosophy

We are well aware that many organisations are actively contributing to resolve the education and school problem in Malawi. Usually this is done through qualified personnel, new construction and provision of funds. Our approach is insofar different as it targets at the local level of society in the sense of Gandhi's "grassroots level". More precisely speaking, our project shall be carried out through volunteering together with the local people from the very beginning.

Basic idea is to visit Malawi again and again with a small group of young adults (minimum 18 years old) for two or three weeks at a time in order to assist self-help projects through volunteer work in close contact with the local people. For this purpose, we also aim at finding one or several partner schools in Germany so that after each trip the experience can be passed down to the subsequent class level. Thus, in the framework of a school project we could achieve continuity.

The Pilot Project

From the very beginning, our pilot project aimed at reconstruction and further development of a kindergarten and primary school in the immediate proximity of the villages Canada Camp / Landscape on the land of the Nature's Gift permaculture farm. Seamless continuation of operations after closing down the old school could not be achieved. However, as early as April 2012 we could re-open the first nursery class, the second one in May 2014, and a third one in September 2018. Our usage agreement has been terminated in the meantime, and in November 2020 the kindergarten moved to the grounds of the "New Christian Pentecostal Church" in Canada Camp.

The Waliranji Project

This cooperation project resulted from the experiences of the pilot project. The "Divine Grace Private School" is a private primary school with an integrated kindergarten in Waliranji, a village with approx. 3,000 inhabitants approx. 60 km outside Lilongwe near the border with Zambia. A total of around 400 children are looked after and taught here; at present there are two kindergarten groups and classes up to grade 5. The school is popular with the residents and achieves very good learning results. However, it is impossible to take in more children because the school is "bursting at the seams".After a visit in 2019, our association decided to help.
In 2021 we bought the adjacent property and had a qualified company build a deep well with a solar-powered pump.
In 2022, buildings for a kindergarten with an adjoining kitchen, composting toilets and a school garden are to be built on our site.

Volunteers' tasks

Main tasks for the volunteers during the next assignments largely depend on the progress of the ongoing projects; for details see "Volunteer with us".

Objectives for Malawi

Success of any activity in a developing country depends on many factors. Population growth and age structure of Malawi doubtless require a change of existing conditions as a precondition for an acceptable future and preservation of domestic peace. However, we definitely do not intend to contribute to a transformation along European lines but rather for the short term remedy a deficiency compromising the future chances of our village children. The involvement of the villagers from the very beginning shall enable them to pursue the project idea on their own after some time. Accordingly, the kindergartens are not establishments of our association but operated as self-contained institutions. The cooperation with the volunteers shall give the locals a chance to see into a different approach and motivate them to more purposeful and sustainable action. We are well aware that this is a difficult and protracted process and must be approached warily. As a sample may serve the fact that nowadays a chicken found dead for unknown reasons is being plucked and prepared anyway - "that's part of our culture". Persuasion is pointless in such cases but experience may show - for example when the children's infection rate drops after improvement of hygienic conditions at the kindergartens.
Our pilot project has already proven to be a model project. Many of the former children are among the best in primary school and will continue to be supported and accompanied by the association.

Volunteers' achievements

Our volunteers will have a good chance to enhance their experience of life through
  • An expansion of their horizon,
  • An understanding of a different culture,
  • Confidence building,
  • Forming friendships and social networking,
  • Improved language ability,
  • A sense of accomplishment,
  • Learning and experiencing permaculture,
  • Team spirit.
For certain at least a part of the volunteers will further keep contact and maintain friendship with Malawi and pass on the project idea to others. Thus, they will contribute not only to the continuity of the project but in general to cultural exchange and international understanding.