Education Centre on Container Gardening in Malawi (Willem VAN COTTHEM / Patrick HARRY)

In 2007 Patrick HARRY visited me in Belgium.  Strongly motivated by the idea and opportunities of developing container gardening in his home country Malawi, he started  applying this gardening method in Lilongwe.

At his return home in December 2007, he founded immediately a non-governmental organisation, called “THE FUTURE OF MALAWI (FOM)“.  I have already described some of his actions in a couple of postings on this blog (search for “Malawi” on right hand top).

The growing success of this action and the enthusiasm of boys and girls to participate in his initiative to alleviate malnutrition and hunger stimulates Patrick to create an “Education Centre for Container Gardening“.

2009 : Patrick HARRY with his team of youngsters (FOM : Future of Malawi"), proudly showing the nice results of container gardening in plastic bottles and bags. (Photo Patrick HARRY).

Today he describes the first steps towards such a Centre.

“As I already mentioned earlier, the priority area is to purchase land for Container Gardening. After thorough search that land has been purchased at the prize of MK50,000.  Thus, the dream  of finding the right place for an Education Centre for the project has been fulfilled.

The size of the land is 50m by 50m and it is located along the lake shore road which connects all the three main cities : Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu.

The  land has been found in the Nkhotakota district (central region of Malawi ) together with districts like Lilongwe, Tchisi, Dowa, Kasungu and Mchinji.  It is located 150 km to the east of the capital city of Lilongwe.

These are the reasons why that area has been chosen:

1. Serious deforestation is occurring in the area, so that the project can help to combat desertification.
2. There is serious poverty in this area and the project could improve the living standards of local people through Container Gardening
3. Shortage of food is also a major problem and the project can help to alleviate malnutrition of children and hunger.
4. Poor sanitation conditions in the village, with littering everywhere, can be improved with sensibilization actions of the project.
5. Good communication in this area is primordial, so the project needs a mobile phone, a digital camera and a laptop with internet connection.
6. This is a very good area for ecotourism and visits to the Education Centre to learn more about this remarkable way of gardening
7. Poor agricultural practices in the area motivated me to target it because the Centre will also set up training sessions about the importance of using cheap compost manure.
8. Lastly purchasing of the land has been rather cheap, because the area is located in rural region where the living standard is very poor.

Let me also tell you that I am now busy with several asignments like  researching on all the necessities for the Education Centre and the costs.  I will send you all the findings soon.

May God bless you.

Patrick Harry


People who want to contribute to the creation of this Education Centre can transfer small donations to :

BOX 30222,

Account details are as follows :

ACCOUNT NAME: Patrick  Harry,
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0121207094200.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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