Our fifth group of colleague volunteers have returned from volunteering in Malawi as part of our Malawi Farm Project.
Our colleagues Arian Mustafa and Paul Freestone from Abel and Cole, Sue Quibell from Aunt Bessie’s, Deborah Dyson and Jamie Luther from Jacksons, Matt Mann and Stephen Waller from Myfresh, Ellie Tharratt from The Ferguson Fawsitt Arms, and Paula Johnson from our group office, returned this week from their 10-day volunteering trip in the Ntcheu District of Malawi.
Also joining our colleagues in Malawi was Christopher Oughtred, the great great grandson of our founder William Jackson and also a former Chairman.
Our volunteers helped the farmers create an irrigation system, which involved building a well, planting trees and sowing seeds for tomatoes. They also learnt more about permaculture, had Chichewa language lessons to learn basic greetings and cultural lessons to make the most of their time out there, visited the local school and village, played football with the farmers and learnt Malawian dances.
Deborah Dyson, Marketing and Communications Manager at Jacksons said this about the experience:
“It’s been truly life changing. The people there are so happy, with so little and it is humbling. It isn’t just the people you meet in Malawi, but the valuable time you get to spend with colleagues and even the sense of freedom from having very limited access to WiFi, emails, signal etc.”
“If nothing else, the experience offers perspective. I have a newfound appreciation for life and more appreciation for being privileged enough to work for a company which supports brilliant projects like this.”
Our five-year Malawi Farm Project aims to help a local village of over 1,000 farmers in the Ntcheu District be self-sustainable and food-secure. It’s about more than simply writing a cheque which is why twice a year, in May and October, a group of our colleagues go to visit the project and get involved, taking with them bags of enthusiasm and knowledge to share.
Colleagues hard at work in the fields.
First stages of building the well.
Paul and Christopher peeling potatoes for the farmers’ lunch that Paul cooked.