Managing an orphanage and a library

Thank you very much for the copies of Footsteps magazine that you have kept on sending me. These have been very helpful to me as they have been serving as the source of the vital information that I need. I would appreciate any information on how to manage an orphanage and a library or addresses where I can get information about these topics. This would greatly help our young organisation.

Raidon Mutale and Irene Kabwe Muyabala Foundation of Mercy, PO Box 450132, Mpika, Zambia

Editor’s note: Tearfund encourages rehabilitation of children without parents back to their biological or extended families and if this is not possible, to foster parents identified, trained and supported by their church. For more info visit the Child Development section on the TILZ website.

In Footsteps 88, Liu Liu asked people to suggest ways of preventing goats from damaging crops. Here are some of the answers:

Dear Liu

Here is a suggestion to meet your challenge. Please ensure that you do not read this around meal times for the sensitive ones! There is an appropriate way to address the challenge using goat droppings (faeces). You might want to ask those keeping goats to help and give them a sizeable container for this purpose. Depending on the size of the herd, you or the goat-keepers might need to pick the material once every two days till you have enough. I am sure that the keepers would be more than glad to supply you with generous quantities of the stuff!

You can either place the droppings around the seedlings, or better still, stir them into water and make a generous sprinkling around the seedlings. A bunch of palm leaves or fresh fallen branches made into a broom makes a good sprinkler. Please remember to use protective clothing and wash anything that has come into contact with the faeces (hands, tools etc.) with soap after every process to avoid infections. This is a workable goat deterrent. It is also effective against fowl, cows, etc. I have observed it in cottage farms in South Africa, Namibia, Niger, Somalia, Ghana, Nigeria, etc. It can be used in different climates and is environmentally sustainable and a direct means of organically fertilising the seedlings.

Michael Anikamadu, Nigeria

Dear Liu

In small gardens farmers use live fencing made of plants such as Moringa or Jatropha to keep cattle, pigs, goats and chickens away from crops. These gardens are mainly used in the dry season (April to November in Zambia). During this period, animals are left to move about in communities and only brought back each evening. In the farming season (November to March) animals are herded to prevent them from destroying people’s crops.

Brethren in Christ Church, Zambia

Dear Liu

Here in Sindh, Pakistan, farmers use the magnetic tape from old audio and video cassettes to scare away wild boar from wheat, carrots and maize crops. They put in wooden posts (just ordinary sticks) all around the edge of the crop and then tie the magnetic tape all along. It proves to be quite successful and scares off other animals and birds as well.

Ashraf Mall, Pakistan

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