Little Nyarai was only two years old when she was brought to Bread and Water for Africa® partner in Zambia, the Kabwata Orphange and Transit Centre.
She is too young to understand why she is there, but old enough to ask “where’s my mommy?”
The sad and tragic fact is that her mother was living in a hospital, deathly ill suffering from a terminal illness and was unable to work and care for her daughter.
“There is no other family,” Kabwata Executive Director Angela Miyanda told us.
With no one else in the world to care for this little girl, there’s no telling what her fate would be, what kind of future she would have…or even if she would have a future.
But with the love and care of Angela and her staff, all dedicated to literally saving the lives of hundreds of children in dire circumstances just like Nyarai, after only two months at Kabwata we are thrilled to learn that she is thriving.
“Nyarai had malnutrition which is now clearing off,” Angela reported.
And this little girl who seeming had no hope and future, has both.
In Zambia, Angela Miyanda takes in the country’s most vulnerable children and provides them with a loving home. But equally important is the fact that in doing so, she also prepares them for the day they will walk out when they must be ready to live on their own – much like when it’s time for a fledgling to leave its mother’s nest.
As she tells us, “The Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre was formed to provide basic requirements for orphaned and other vulnerable children in Zambia. Through the provision of education, shelter, health, nutrition, love and security we try to help the children reach their full potential in life.”
Most of the children who came to Kabwata to live 10 or 15 years ago are adults who have completed secondary school and are attending colleges and universities, and Angela justifiably takes pride in their success.
But it is the other young adults, those who are not so strong academically, who worry her. She knows they are capable of becoming self-sufficient with assistance in learning a trade.
Surprisingly, she found that four of her “children” had an interest – and an aptitude – for baking and thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® they received the training they needed not just to get a job, but to start their own cake bakery business by assisting them in acquiring the ovens and capital they need to get off the ground.
“This is a project that targets older children who leave Kabwata for reintegration back into society,” explained Angela. “This project believes this gesture to the youth will make a big impact on encouraging even those who have not made it academically.”
With the initial success of the fish farming project at the Kabwata Orphanage & Transit Centre in Zambia, thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, we were recently able to add two more ponds to the operation thereby enabling the orphanage to reap increased financial returns as it heads along the path to self-sufficiency.
According to Kabwata founder and executive director Angela Miyanda, each pond will house 2,500 tilapia fish generating thousands of dollars for the orphanage every six months.
With the recent completion of the two ponds, and with the first harvest scheduled for around mid-June, the annual revenue is projected to increase to a significant sum that will go a long way towards improving the lives of hundreds of orphans and destitute Zambian children.
“Fish farming is new for Zambia and we have a good market for it, especially for the local people,” commented Angela, adding, “The community is excited with the fish farming because it will be sold in the local community, unlike the distances they have to go to the markets.”
Tilapia, a staple in Zambia, is the perfect fish for such an operation, notes The Washington Post.1
“And if we’re going to farm fish, an adaptable, hardy fish like tilapia is an excellent candidate,” the Post reported.
An expert on fish farming around the world told the Post, “If you’re going to farm fish, tilapia is a great candidate. They’re easier to raise than they are to kill.”
Tilapia, in short, is an environmentally friendly, lean low-calorie source of protein, the Post reported, adding, “We need all of those we can get.”
We are inspired by Angela’s ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit and proud of our compassionate supporters who helped in the construction of the first two ponds.
At Bread and Water for Africa® we know a good investment when we see it – and so does our partner in Zambia, Angela Miyanda, founder and executive director of the Kabwata Orphanage & Transit Centre. As with all our partners such as Lewa Children’s Home in Kenya, which receives food and revenue from its Baraka Farm, we strive to help them develop revenue generating operations so that they can ultimately become financially self-sufficient. Several years ago, Angela developed a banana plantation to both provide food to feed the children and also raise money to support the orphanage and make it less reliant on outside donations. The banana plantation has been a success, and over the years she has been able to double its size. But she also realized that revenue from the sales bananas is not going to make enough money to make Kabwata fully self-sufficient so about two years ago she came up with a novel idea – to raise fish in man-made ponds. We at Bread and Water for Africa® agreed with Angela’s vision that raising fish – fast-growing tilapia, which is a staple in Zambia – had great potential. And boy, was she right! More than 5,000 tilapia were harvested in the very batch which grew to maturity in about four months in two ponds, and thousands and thousands more were raised in subsequent harvests. With that proven success, Angela came back to Bread and Water for Africa® with a request for capital funding to construct two more fish ponds in order to be able to double the fish harvest within less than year. Thanks to our supporters, we have now embarked on the construction of two more fish farm ponds, which will double the harvest within the next year and for many years to come as Kabwata continues its process towards self-sufficiency.