Our First Shamba

Mozambique is a multilingual country. Numerous Bantu languages are spoken along with Portuguese. Many words and expressions are borrowed between languages, we like one very much: Machamba, from the Swahili term Shamba, which means cultivated land or plot.

At WEbuiliding we have an ongoing project that involves a Machamba, it’s an ecological farm that will supply the Munti Centre of Khanimambo Foundation. They have been working there for ten years, at Xai-Xai in the province of Gaza, south of Mozambique. They focus on children and families from close-by communities, in education, health, and nutrition support. Everyday four-hundred kids eat at Munti Centre, where they already have a small Machamba, managed by a group of mothers whose children attend the centre. The mothers sell them part of the vegetables they harvest, and thus the program has fresh and healthy supplies!

In this project, together with Khanimambo Foundation we’re building a larger Machamba of 15 hectares, that’ll generate new training opportunities, employment, and social growth. We’ll oversee the architectural design and construction and will be implementing sustainable techniques and bioconstruction with materials from the region. On October 2019 we had our site visit to Mozambique and we ate loads of delicious plates, one that we enjoyed a lot was Xima, a type of porridge made with water and corn flour. Xima is eaten as a staple carb in most meals, and usually comes with a vegetable or meat stew. Other vegetables that are widely grown in Mozambique, and at Munti Centre’s Machamba, are potatoes, cassava, carrots, squash, chards, spinach, aubergines, and legumes like nhemba beans.

Even with its high agricultural potential the rate of chronic malnutrition affects 43% of children under five years of age, according to the country’s most recent Demographic Health Survey. So, to ensure a healthy diet, at Munti Centre they have weekly menus based on specific child nutritional needs. In the video below you can meet Guida, the centre’s nutrition specialist who shares their strategy to tackle chronic malnutrition with knowledge and a bit of magic soup😉.