I would like to summarise the past two months. A lot has happened, many things were achieved.
My beloved uncle died unexpectedly in his early 50s from a heart attack. Being in the other hemisphere and not even being able to go to family is harder than I thought. This event also triggered many thoughts. How will I (re)act if something happens to one of my parents? How will it be for them if something happens to me? We talked about it before I went back to Malawi. In the meantime I think that we would act differently than we had discussed. I would definitely get on the next plane and come home if something happened to either of them!
It also caused a deep melancholy. Everything was so difficult for me. It is already very busy right now. The Christmas season is also a time of giving for many, including donations. I do not want to miss the momentum for Green Spark. So I put myself under pressure to get the campaign going, update the website, create pictures... It's hard to stay relaxed. The high stress level is also responsible for my fragile health.
But I can give the all-clear. Things are slowly improving. I have started meditating again - it was long overdue. This helps me to focus a lot and find my inner center again.
Vanessa has also suffered a stroke of fate. Her grandmother died a few weeks ago So after a week of living with me she went home to her family Even though she has no regular income and bad prospects there, she has decided to stay with her mother for the time being and give her moral support.
Many thanks at this point for your participatory and encouraging feedback, also for the financial support. I contact the donors directly to clarify what the donations can be used for instead.
I already have a suggestion: Susan - you can see her in the main picture on the Moringa project page with one of her two sons. She volunteers for Green Spark. Working mothers do not have an easy time in Malawi either. I pay for the day care place for her 2-year-old son. The 10-year-old son lives with his grandparents in the same village. Her husband has an irregular income as an artist.
The status is as follows:
This all sounds good at first, but it has been more work to get to this point than I thought. What went wrong?
The good thing is that once the seedlings are grown and planted, they grow incredibly fast, especially in the rainy season, and need little attention.
The first moringa tree planted in June already towers over me by two heads, and that despite trimming the main shoot!
The second picture shows me with the same tree four weeks ago - the leaves hadn't even towered over me...!
The exchange of eco-bricks (Ecobricks) in exchange for school materials continues to be very well received. Since the beginning of July we have exchanged almost 2,000 eco-bricks for notebooks, pens and reusable pads.
That is 300 kg less plastic waste in nature.
It doesn't sound like much, but think about how much your yellow recycling weighs at home. It's quite some plastic wrap we picked up off the street.
We have been building benches in the Green Spark garden with it for the last two weeks. We used 667 eco-bricks. Further benches in the public space are in planning.
In our garden we grow medicinal plants and with the benches we now also have a place to hold training sessions.
I have already completed a training with Anamed on herbal medicine in April 2017. At the beginning of November I had the opportunity to participate in another seminar at short notice. Alex and I left for the Kuzidalira pa Moyo Farm in the south of the country. It was great to see the team there again. The farm is run by the German missionary Karin. So I could speak German again.
The German organization Anamed is active worldwide in the tropics. The core of Anamed is the promotion of self-responsible, self-empowered, sustainable and accessible health and food care for all with the help of natural medical knowledge gained over 30 years.
My goal is to become an official Anamed trainer in order to offer Anamed trainings on herbal medicine in the north of Malawi. For this I have to complete another seminar and plant a demonstration garden in Nkhata Bay.
We have made great progress with our garden with the active support of Hope, Karin's Malawian adopted son. Anamed promotes 64 medicinal plants. There are 51 of these in Malawi. We already have 21 in our garden. So 30 are still missing. My goal is to have my trainer's license in my pocket by mid-2020.
Due to the newspaper article in October in the district of Stendal, Germany some donations have been received from private persons.
Many thanks at this point!
Two businesses have also come forward and now regularly support Green Spark:
Freiherr-Vom-Stein-Straße 1, 39576 Stendal, Germany
Hanse Park, Kirschallee 8, 39590 Tangermünde, Germany
They collect donations for our tree project and issue personalized tree donation certificates in the name of Green Spark.
Stop by their places.
So how about a unique gift? Instead of pointless stuff, this year there can be a donation certificate under the Christmas tree, with GPS coordinates - not everybody has that. For easy self-printing, therefore ideal as a short-term Christmas present.
Donate conveniently via startsomegood.com.
Not only from Germany there is help, also in Malawi volunteers find their way to us. For example:
You are also interested in helping on site in Malawi?
This is an experience that you will carry in your heart all your life. Promise! :)
Send me a message to discuss details.
We are still looking for regular supporters who donate money monthly or even quarterly.
Why are regular donations so important?
With regular donations, the important work for people and the environment by Green Spark can be ensured in the long run. It gives me the opportunity to plan for the long term for the main cost drivers:
Pleae donate monthly With 10€ I can make a difference.
At this point I would like to point out that Green Spark is registered as a non-profit organisation in Germany, which means that donations r educe your tax burden and therefore less has to be paid / if necessary more is paid back by the German revenue authority. So you are not only doing something good for our planet but also for yourself ;-)
Best regards from Malawi,