In 2007, the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation® celebrated the dedication of the Mtalimanja Village. Named by the local people of Malawi, Mtalimanja means "long hands that give."
The Foundation's "Build a Village" project is focused on helping the people of Malawi, Africa - one of the poorest markets in the world where the majority of the people are farmers and live on less than US$1 a day. Even more significant is the fact that one out of three people in Malawi is threatened by hunger.
The foundation, in partnership with local non-profit organizations and civic groups, built an actual village at Mtalimanja to house 30-40 farmers and their families while they are educated in fish farming, drip irrigation, sustainable farming, forest conservation, tree farming, animal husbandry, nutrition and other subjects. Husbands and wives attend classes together and children are sent to primary school.
Families attending SAFI spend their second year of study back at home and continue to learn through an extension program. They implement their new skills and teach these principles to others, including their children, to ensure that the ideals of self-sufficiency will last for generations.
In fact, in May 2009 the village held its first graduation ceremony. The graduation was nothing short of a celebration as graduates danced across the stage to receive their diplomas. They were the first to graduate from the School of Agriculture and Family Independence in Mtalimanja Village. The village has thrived during the past two years as residents have learned proper farming and irrigation techniques that they will now use when teaching in their own villages.
As Steve Lund, Executive Director of Nourish the Children®, said in his commencement speech, “You thought you came here to be students, but you really came here to be teachers.”
As of 2012, more than 180 Malawian families have mastered self-sufficiency through their participation with the School of Agriculture for Family Independence (SAFI). After implementing SAFI techniques, crop yields have increased as much as 700 percent.
These farmers will be Malawi’s hope for a nation without hunger.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.