Friday, December 9, 2011

New and Improved Feeding Program!

I just returned from Malawi to check on the feeding center. The trip was very successful!

The following are changes made to the feeding program:

1) Coordinator:
Geofrey, new feeding center coordinator.
I have hired a new coordinator named Geofrey Mankhokure, a native Malawian and good man. I met Geofrey 4 years ago when he was working for the home that me and some American volunteers stayed at. He impressed me with his hard work and honest nature. If you want to send anything to the kids you will need to send it to:

Geofrey Mankhokure
PO Box 145
Monkey Bay, Mangochi District 
Malawi, Africa

If you do send anything, please let me know so I can make sure they receive it...

2) Accountability:
I met with the chiefs of the 3 villages surrounding our feeding center. These chiefs are Namakoma, Chizula, and Nangoma. All were very happy about our program and urged me to expand it to include more kids as soon as possible. I asked them to create committees made up of villagers from various parts of each village to oversee the program. They agreed. These committees will also have access to all financial records that Geofrey is keeping to be sure that all funds are being used properly.

Every month when I send Geofrey the money, he will make a copy and keep it in a folder. He will also keep track of all expenditures and have these ready for any village committee members that want to see them.

3) Location:
While before we were renting land for $50 a month and using a temporary shelter, we now are constructing a permanent feeding center on free land. The permanent center should be finished in about 6 months. Until then, a friend named Francis Njanje (director of the Malawi Volunteer Organisation) is allowing us to use his land and a room for food storage. This land also has a well and kitchen room that we have free access to.

4) Selection:

In the past, the coordinator selected kids to come to the feeding center. Now kids will be selected by the village committees, as they will know more about which kids are the most needy. The 17 sponsored kids are automatically allowed to come to the feeding center (we have had some sponsors drop out over the past 3 years and are looking to replace them if you know of anyone who is interested).

5) Food:
Instead of feeding just rice porridge, we are now feeding vegetables, beans, potatoes, and relish as well as rice and their staple food nsima (maize). Kids get a more nutritious meal now, every day!

5) Costs:
Costs all over Malawi have been steadily rising and seem to have peaked (I hope!). Even a gallon of gas (when you can get it) is now up to about $8 a gallon. When the pumps are out of fuel, which is quite often, you can expect to pay up to $20 for a gallon of gas on the black market! 

While just 2 years ago I could buy 100 pounds of rice for $35, it now costs nearly $70! Prices of vegetables have also gone up. While we used to be able to feed a child for just over $5, it now costs just under $10 to feed a child for a month.

Please consider donating to feed these kids!

Shane Mast


  1. So great to hear that Geofrey is involved now, and that Francis is still going strong! What ever came of that guitar you left him?

  2. He's still playing it! He has gotten quite good, too!

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