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June 2020

CA Farmers deliver food!

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Conservation Agriculture Farmers Feed 204 Families The CV-19 lockdown has been extended indefinitely in Zimbabwe as cases continue to rise – making the hunger crises even more urgent.  As Zimbabweans battle through the fourth year of drought, those farmers who received training in our Conservation Agriculture programme are successfully harvesting their crops and were able to ‘pay it forward’.Following the plan set out in our last newsletter – and after having enough food for their own families – we have spent the last 2 weeks working with those famers to deliver 12 tonnes of maize and soya to 204 vulnerable families within our school communities. We made sure we followed all the social distancing procedures including sanitisers, masks etc for all who were helping, as well as those who were handling the sacks. Thanks to you – our donors – for making this happen!  Seeing the tears of gratitude from elderly grandmothers, who have so many mouths to feed, was an emotional experience for everyone.Our next newsletter will show you how we have adapted our feeding programme to deal with the CV-19 hunger crises and our determination to feed over 6,000 children! 100% of your donations received here are being used to support this programme.Conservation Agriculture Training (Pre-Covid)We did not have a chance to let you know about the Conservation Agriculture trainees, from our school community, who were chosen to attend an advanced CA course “I WAS HUNGRY“.

These participants had already received basic training and had excelled, proving they wanted to improve their own lives and weren’t afraid of hard work.  The intensive course was held over a 2 week period in February 2020 at the Foundations for Farming head office in Harare. 

Amongst those chosen were struggling single mothers, widows, illiterate grandmothers, grown-up orphans who are responsible for their younger siblings, men who support huge and extended families and a young woman who single-handedly takes care of her own children, as well her deceased sister’s six. In total, 30 participants LEARNED and worked vigorously on only natural techniques for soil management, household herbicide remedies, planting stations, mulching, composting, agronomy, moringa plants, field mapping, agroforestry, financial planning and social harmony. 

All plots created through this training will be strategically placed in central, roadside positions so people walking by can see and learn from our participants.  Rewards and incentives are in place for passing on their training.

Thank you Foundations for Farming!ART GIVES BACK 
We urge you to read this inspirational story of one of Zimbabwe’s most talented artists who, in spite of his own formidable hurdles, chooses to give to so many others. 

Valentine Magutsa was born in 1975 in Mberengwa, Zimbabwe, but lived with his uncle, who worked at a tea estate in Chipinge, Manicaland. While at the tea estate he was surrounded by tea pickers and coffee pickers. This scenery formed part of his early painting subjects, inspiring Valentine to view life from a different perspective. He was fascinated by the reciprocal relationship between human beings and nature, and how each can influence the various conditions they find themselves in. 
His artistic talent was nurtured at Hartzell high school near Mutare – a scenic mountainous area with many waterfalls and forests. Valentine was continually
inspired and enrolled at Chinhoyi Technical Teachers College to study Art for both Industry and the Education sector. Valentine taught Art in Chipinge and Bulawayo until the year 2005, when he decided to pursue a full-time painting career after building a name internationally in the Arts field.
In November 2011, however, he was struck by crippling rheumatoid arthritis which has left him more or less bedridden and confined to using a wheelchair.
Despite all these challenges, Valentine has a resilient spirit to continue doing his work in whatever limited way he can, by selling reproductions and a few of the available original paintings.  In 2019, after much rehabilitation, Valentine has taught himself to paint again.  

Valentine has generously given a percentage of his sales to support our cause – we are honoured to work with such an inspirational and dedicated human being. £30/year a child in rural Zimbabwe can receive a quality education, a nutritious meal every day and their families given a route to self-reliance.