We have decided to set Mushroom Farm up as social enterprise business. This means that the profits created from the business are shared fairly with staff and throughout the community. The funds are collectively invested to meet the social and environmental needs of the area, instead of one or two people benefiting from the business.
The neighboring community of Manchewe Village has been incredibly welcoming to all of us at the Mushroom Farm! In turn, we've created a social enterprise model to assist the development of the village.
The lodge has created local employment opportunities (our staff and guides keep growing in numbers!), local farmer empowerment by ensuring reliable income (we supply farmers with organic seeds and buy back the produce in return), we also provide micro-loans and educational opportunities to many individuals in the area along with ALL of our staff.
Mushroom Farm Community Eco-lodge currently sponsors:
-3 Primary School Teachers
-Manchewe Primary School supplies (see below)
-Weekly Adult Literacy Classes: including supplies and 3 local teachers
-Illuminate Manchewe Project (currently in the works July '17): hydroelectricity created from the waterfalls!!!
-2 secondary students from manchewe village
-1 university medical student (Khwima, see below); the first student from manchewe to attend university!
-Well Wishes nursery school: including feeding program and 3 teachers
Khwima's Scholarship Program: Malawi is now recorded as the world's poorest country. The northern hill-top village of Manchewe is stuck in its own cycle of poverty, primarily due to lack of education and health care.
Nineteen year old Khwima Makalamo grew up in Manchewe within a hard-working, dedicated family determined to better their community. Against the odds, Khwima has been able to complete secondary school - and has achieved exceptional exam results. Since he was a small child, Khwima has dreamt about becoming a rural doctor. This is not only Khwima and his family's dream, but that of the entire village - he would be the first person EVER to attend University from Manchewe.
In spring 2015, Maddy (co-owner of Mushroom Farm) used a crowd-funding page to fundraise the necessary tuition fees associated with the well know Ekwendeni school of medicine. Khwima was enrolled in June 2015 and is well on his way to becoming a rural doctor! Thanks for all the support everyone!
*Tuition fees will be raised in the coming year and Maddy will have to fundraise yet again-- please contact her if you are interested in making a donation!! (email@example.com). Please stay up to date with Khwimas success through Mushroom's Facebook(facebook.com/themushroomfarmmalawi)
Manchewe Primary School: Large class sizes are a huge problem for schools throughout Malawi. This is usually due to lack of funding and/or lack of qualified teachers. Manchewe is lucky that it has dedicated teachers who want the best for their community, however there is not enough funding to pay fair wages. The Mushroom Farm currently sponsors three teachers at the local primary school.
*Interested in funding another teacher? Would you like to help a student from Manchewe Primary to continue their education by sponsoring their secondary school fees? Please contact Maddy (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Please check out the links and let us know if you have any questions or would like to donate. We are very committed and passionate about the progression of Manchewe
100% of donations go directly to the projects.
Please send us an email for more details email@example.com -OR- directly to Maddy McAllister (firstname.lastname@example.org) By staying at Mushroom Farm, you are supporting sustainable community development in Manchewe village. Thank you for your help!!
Since our beginning at the Mushroom Farm, we have been very intent on creating sustainable local small enterprises to cater to our guests.
We now offer products and services from various community empowerment projects, including: Manchewe Mountain Mamas crafts, Manchewe Made up-cycled Jewelry, and Vungu-Vungu Coffee Co-op, along with local laundry service supporting women in Manchewe, and local guides in the area.
Manchewe Mountain Mama's: Maddy Mcallister (co-owner of The Mushroom Farm Lodge) came together with Manchewe locals to identify ten vulnerable women in the area who would be in need of support. The majority of the women are widows, some who look after many children or elderly family members with little or no financial support.we decided that a women's tailoring group would be a valuable asset to the area and a way for the women to start generating an income.the Manchewe mountain mamas were formed as a co-operative group in Sept. 2013.
The aim of the women's co-op group is to improve their quality of life through empowerment, education, skill sharing and the development of sustainable income-generating activities.
We fundraised to build a sewing workshop located at Mushroom Farm with four sewing machines for the mama's. They are now producing some beautiful crafts including chitenje bunting, napkins, locally produced & roasted coffee pouches, and pillowcases. These items are all sold at the Mushroom Farm Lodge and make perfect lightweight and affordable gifts that support a great cause!