Since we first came to Malawi in 2018 for our project work, a lot has changed – in the country but also for Humission. In the meantime, we have built nearly 700 energy-saving cooking stoves in various villages around Benga. Additionally, we have funded education for about 10 students, hired a local director, bought our own small piece of land for testing sustainable methods in agriculture and financed a pilot project with about 30 systems for the production of sustainable biochar. Now, it is time to pause and think about the future.
As some of the first stoves were affected by the rainy seasons, we started to renovate about 60 of them during our stay this year. Predominantly organised by our local director, Pascally Tambala, who has become one of the main pillars of our work on the ground. At the same time, we have been working intensively on planning a large global grant project in cooperation with two Rotary Clubs from Aachen and Lilongwe to implement the biochar and agriculture project on a larger scale in the next two years. For this we have met with potential beneficiaries, talked to people already working on the systems, convinced representatives of the Rotary Club in Lilongwe of our idea and got the Malawi government on board at both district and national level. Many productive conversations that can make us and our idea known and help us move forward.
The expansion of project activities must also be accompanied by an expansion of our financial base. Above all, freely disposable money that can be used for the wages of our local workers, the maintenance or the purchase of a new car, which is urgently needed for our work, or for the further development of our land. Our property is becoming increasingly important. Therefore, we have – for the first time – bought a large amount of coffee from the north of Malawi to sell to roasting companies in Germany and through our own brand “Tikondane”. While, especially in the capital Lilongwe, the streets are getting wider and parts of the infrastructure and administration are becoming more modern, the impact of the various development projects are becoming more apparent in rural areas as well. More people can invest in thatched roofs to better protect themselves from the coming rains, or to improve their own mobility by buying a motorbike. On the other hand, the effects of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine and the resulting economic dislocation have become visible.
Inflation is high and important products such as petrol, medicines and fertilisers will be scarce this year due to a lack of foreign currency. While people are happy to spend a day at the petrol station to fill up their tanks, the shortage of fertiliser will hit the rural population particularly hard. We are helping with advance wage payments and increased production of Terra preta and the training of subsistence farmers to produce it in order to be able to harvest enough to feed their own families. With all the progress we’ve made, one must not forget that it is the poorest parts of the world that will suffer particularly in the coming months and therefore deserve special international attention.
We hope to be able to make a small contribution here.

Valentin Amian, 1st Chairman Humssion e.V.
Benga, Malawi, December 2022