Written by Zambia intern, Hayley Willis
The Happy Africa Foundation aims to identify sustainable initiatives in Livingstone that will have an impact on the greater community and is able to ensure that appropriate funding and resources are distributed to projects in need.
Linda Farm is a vulnerable community that was set up in the 1960’s to empower and rehabilitate those in the local community with disabilities, especially those with a visual impairment. They do this mostly through teaching agriculture skills and pottery. These activities also provide much needed food for the community, and they rely on them to generate income to develop the community further.
Currently there are 15 families living on the farm, as well as others who work there during the day. Some are blind or partially sighted, others are physically disabled and require a wheelchair or crutches for mobility.
When I was looking around Linda Farm I asked the community what they felt would improve the community. One resident explained to me how the water pump they use to irrigate the vegetable plot has been broken for about a year. This has meant they have not been able to plant any vegetables as they can’t rely on the rain during the hot season. Instead they could only plant maize which has not enabled them to generate much income from the crop. Before the pump broke the main role for the blind was to water the garden using a hose pipe. This hasn’t been possible without the hose as it is too dangerous for them to get water from the river due to crocodiles. The terrain is also not the easiest ( I can vouch for that as I ungracefully landed on my bottom by the river!!)
This has all had such a negative impact on the community. The community as a whole, who is impoverished anyway, has not been able to eat healthy vegetables or been able to sell any. The residents with disabilities have been unable to work. The only way for them to make any income is to beg on the streets. This offers them no dignity or empowerment. The children stay out of school to escort them begging.
So, what better way to celebrate World Disability Day in Livingstone than by buying a water pump for Linda Farm!!! On World Disability Day we went to the farm to give them a certificate, promising a pump. Two days later we were back again to install it.
The residents were so happy. The manager, Jane, kept saying “Thank you, thank you, it is so beautiful”.
If you would like to help us do more for this community and others please donate!