Small donations for take-off of container gardening in Malawi (Patrick Harry)

When Patrick Harry, a student from Malawi (Southern Africa) visited my home in 2007, I had the pleasure of convincing him that container gardening could play a very important role in his home country.  After showing him a series of plastic bottles and bags, in which I am growing all kinds of vegetables and fruit tree seedlings in my garden and inside my house, Patrick was so enthusiastic about this “cheap and efficient” method to grow fresh food with a minimal investment, that he decided on the spot in Belgium to start up a “Container Gardening Project” in Malawi.

At his return home in December 2007, he founded immediately a non-governmental organisation, called “THE FUTURE OF MALAWI (FOM)“.

We have to agree, noticing the name of his organisation, that young man sees the things really big enough ! But, hats off, he has the guts to realize some wonderful things : with only his own very limited means he started gardening in all kinds of containers in his own backyard and soon attracted the attention of his neighbours, the villagers of Piyasani near Lilongwe, and, in particular, the attention of the kids for whom he founded a sports club to motivate them even more through the combination of container gardening and leisure.  That’s clever thinking !  Bravo, Patrick !

2008 - Patrick HARRY at the very start of his container gardening project in Malawi, using "useless" plastic bottles and bags as containers
2009 - Enthusiastic kids are really happy to "work" for the project, producing themselves the fresh vegetables they can eat.
2009 - Patrick HARRY and a few members of his FOM's Kids Club proudly showing the plastic containers with vegetables. They certainly merit to get our support in the form of a small donation to the organisation FUTURE OF MALAWI.

Today, Patrick has sent me this short message :

“Dear  Professor Willem,

Iam really glad that you are really willing to support my projects in Malawi.

The Future of Malawi( FOM), an organisation which I founded in December 2007, has been experiencing a lot of challenges. Some of them include the closing of my postal address, which I opened for the organisation.  It was closed due to lack of funds to renew it.  I have not yet reopened an account for the organisation due to the same funding problem. But i will surely reopen it once I receive some small donations.

As of now I am using my sisters address :

BOX 30222,

My account details are as follows :

ACCOUNT NAME: Patrick  Harry,
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0121207094200.

I will appreciate any assistance from you.  I  wish you all the best.

Your Sincerely,

Patrick Harry”

Dear Reader of this message :

You will understand that I feel the moral obligation to help this young man Patrick HARRY .  I will transfer tomorrow a small donation to the account above, because I am convinced that Patrick will use that money in a proper way to develop his organisation, which in turn will be a clear signal for other people, and hopefully also the authorities of Malawi, to apply container gardening at a larger scale.

Let us make Patrick HARRY “the father of container gardening in Malawi” by supporting him with a small donation from us all.

I hope you will be so kind to help him on the way to success.  Every small donation is a piece of an important jigsaw.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.