The Ntchisi Forest Lodge Community Trust
Many af our guests are keen to help the local community and alleviate the poverty that all tourists inevitably encounter in a country as poor as Malawi. Should you wish to make a contribution to the community – no matter how large or small – it will always be greatly appreciated by the local people. We have set up a Community Trust which ensures that all donations are put towards local development projects such as forest conservation, chicken farming, macadamia nut farming and care for the children and elderly . Please contact us for more details.
In the past, villagers could come and help with fighting of forest fires. Usually this was too late when they arrived. Whenever illegal loggers were spotted in the reserve, we could send a message and they would come and help. Since 2012 Ntchisi Forest Lodge created a Patrol Group of volunteers that do daily forest patrols. This completely scared the loggers and it stopped. This has also helped in eliminating forest fires before they grew bigger. Every month the patrol troopers get a small amount depending on what is in the community trust box.
Given how much deforestation we faced in Ntchisi Forest Reserve before, we thought of engaging the youth in forest regeneration. Education sticks more if it is engaged with a fun element. That’s why we drew up a Forest Conservation football League. Teams earn points in the league by playing football but more importantly they can also earn points through their efforts in creating a village forest. They are provided with the seeds and will be judged by how well their forest does. In addition the community will receive information on the importance of village forests and the planting of indigenous trees on the final day of the league.
Income Generating Activities
Supporting the local economy is an important aspect of your visit here. We encourage local villagers to produce goods that bring money to the area – whether it is the popcorns you are served with your drinks or the home-made fig jam on the breakfast table. In the past we have supported groups that produce honey and farmers who grow macadamia nuts.
School Feeding Project
The primary school that’s close to the lodge; Mpamila Primary School, has one of the highest rate of drop-outs. Most kids stay home to help with farming and therefore don’t go to school. In January, 2013, we received a big donation to the community trust by two guests. Together with them we thought of introducing a feeding project that will attract more kids to go back to school. Since than a building has been build, materials have been bought and meetings have been taking place with all partners.