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December 27, 2012 / catherinebwrites

Good News – 3

Winston and Florence

Winston and Florence – creators of change.

I met Winston and Florence at the airport.  After an overnight flight from deepest November to the heat of Zambia, I was  not at my most winsome!   They supplied the car and driver for our first week and they hoped we’d do a clinic in Choma. That wasn’t possible this trip so we  arranged a meeting in Lusaka to discuss it.

Winston worked in banking until, one day, he had an epiphany.   He left banking and founded the Alliance for Nutrition and Reconstruction. (A.N.R.) to help villages in Southern Province who  suffer food shortages and famine caused by drought, colonisation and dependance on foreign foods.  He had a degree in Argicultural Science before he went into banking so he knew how to help.

Florence also has a degree in Agricultural Science.   She worked for the Ministry of Agriculture.   Then she joined A.N.R.

Oxen ready to plough

Oxen ready to plough

They encourage farmers to grow traditional, drought-resistant crops and show people how to cook them in interesting and flavorsome ways.    They set up village committees and teach food hygiene, food processing and marketing.   This makes it possible for villagers to preserve food  for  hard times and to sell the  surplus at market.  They also encourge villgers to grow cash crops of mushrooms and honey.  Every project involves education, not just on the practicalities of farming and selling but on the social aspects of running a  co-operative, using people’s strengths, the need for mutual support, dealing with set-backs and disagreements etc..

The effect has been interesting.  Once a village has  a reliable food source and an income other villages want to participate. The education  opens their eyes to a wider world and people who are adequately fed have more energy. They start making demands on their local politicians:  Improve  our roads.   Give us medical care. A school for our children.  Better public transport etc.etc.   It’s not a revolution exactly but it is a sea-change.

There was a time when a bag of mealy-meal wold buy a vote.   Not any more!



Winston and Florence wanted us to visit Choma and surrounding villages because they believed  it was a practical way to educate people about health.    Many villagers are superstitious and  believe that  illness is caused by witchcraft.  The presence of the clinic would show them that diseases have natural causes and that many can be treated successfully.  We’re considering investigating Choma for the next trip.



Wallace and Florence would love to attend the forthcoming CRANS MONTANA WOMEN’S FORUM on poverty and child malnutrition. Unfortunately it will cost around 8000Euro. for them both to go which  they cannot afford.  They applied to the organisers for a travel grant but it does not give travel grants.


[email protected].

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