Welcome and thank you for visiting the E-3 Worldwide’s blog page. This blog was created so we can chronicle, over time, the different aspects of E-3.
E-3 is short for Educate, Empower, and Employ. E-3 was created by two African Bible College graduates, Sam Kawale and Jay Chikoya, and their friend from the states David Epperson. After years of working with and alongside different NGO’s (non-government organizations), Sam and Jay were frustrated at the donor mentality both the donors and the recipients were falling into. They felt that Malawi could and should be able to support itself through its vast natural resources instead of relying on donors to supply food, jobs, and stability. The words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr resonated with them.
“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard or superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
King’s words are proved everyday. When we donate items we are taking the ability to produce away from the person and in a subtle way are saying that we don’t think the person is capable of producing for himself. Thus we take away the feeling of empowerment and create a feeling of dependency. The person then is demeaned and ends up sitting and waiting for food, clothing, etc. It is a terrible cycle and needs to be broken. We in the west need to understand that we are creating a donor dependent person so we need to change that idea or edifice so we are no longer producing beggars but empowering people to take care of themselves, their family, and their community.
The question then became how to accomplish this since Malawi is one of the world’s 20 poorest countries. About 74 per cent of the population still lives below the income poverty line of US$1.25 a day and 90 per cent below the US$2 a day threshold.
The average Malawian can expect to live just 40 years due to HIV/AIDS, malaria, and malnutrition. 15 million Malawians live in a country a little smaller than England or Pennsylvania. Access to running water, electricity, and health care remains very elusive with estimates for running water and electricity ranging below the 5% mark.
Most Malawians rely on subsistence farming, but often fail to have food security as the country is prone to natural disasters of both extremes – from drought to heavy rainfalls, plus the main staple crop is only maize which is poor for nutrition on many levels. Poor rural people in Malawi are unable to diversify out of agriculture and tend to remain underemployed for part of the year with unemployment estimates hovering around 80%. More than a third of rural households earn their livelihood only from farming or fishing. Deforestation on a massive scale and mono-cropping are major issues as well.
Yet with all these challenges Malawi is blessed with a rather shallow water table across the country and excellent weather for growing crops year round. It is a country teeming with untouched resources. The question was how to unlock those resources and do it with sound environmental practices.
The answer that Sam and Jay came up with is using donor funds to help an area develop their access to water, education, and health care while teaching every level of age groups ideas such as permaculture, water management, financial management, animal husbandry, composting, better nutrition, and different trades.
The idea is that education leads to a feeling of empowerment, which leads to either a better qualified worker for better job access or a person confident to start his or her own business and in turn employ others. E-3 feels it is much better to develop income generation within the community which leads to jobs rather than importing from the west things like food and clothes that only address short term issues but in the long run do more damage than good.
To that end the community first addressed was the village of Jidi or Gusu (the community is known for two names). Jidi has a population of about 1000 people. When E-3 first started working with Jidi they had no school so education levels were very poor. They produced food only once a year since access to water was restricted to a couple of boreholes. Malnutrition was a major problem as well as health care because the closest health care facility was a day away.
Over the past several years, E-3 has built a primary school so all children have access to education. A secondary school is next on the list so children have access to higher level education and the potential to go to college. Nutrition has been improved with the distribution of several treadle pump irrigation systems for year round agriculture. A borehole with submersible pump powered by solar panels has recently been installed for even larger irrigation and improved sanitation. Mobile clinics are held every 6-8 weeks so the health of the village is on a dramatic increase since malaria is caught early and chronic diseases are treated regularly. Permaculture, composting toilets, natural medicine, and aquaponics have all been introduced and this year a biodigester to create methane gas for cooking will be introduced.
The result is a village that is starting to be self sustaining and an income producer. Many surrounding villages have been visiting the site and asking to learn how to duplicate this in their communities. They are sending representatives to Jidi where Dennis, E-3’s agriculture manager, has been able to teach them. It’s all about the education and the empowerment to go back to their communities and feel like they can make a difference.
With all the challenges Malawi faces, none of them can’t be overcome. With your help, E-3 can continue expanding into other communities to develop infrastructure such as schools and running water and teach the community how to be self sufficient and self sustained. Soon, these communities will no longer depend on donor support but will be able to reach out and help their neighbors and other communities become sustainable themselves.
For more information about E-3 you can check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/E3Worldwide, our web page at http://e3worldwide.org/, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Thanks for reading and your interest in E-3.