This month of May, we made our community follow up visits to check on the projects. We are very excited about the developments in the communities. Mid- May marked the first mushroom harvests in the five communities with some giant mushrooms being harvested in Odzi.
The purpose and accomplishments of the visits included: quality control, teaching the teams about the maintenance of the mushroom houses, harvesting the mushrooms, preparing the mushrooms for the market and of course cooking the mushrooms!
In Marange, we were graced by the visit of the chief and also a lot of men from around the community. Everyone was curious, and at the same time applauded Chido Govera for returning to the community to re-establish the mushroom project that had since died when she had left the community. They were keen on extending our work with mushrooms to help solve issues of soil fertility and to introduce compost toilets in the communities. A number of them had participated in April, when the project was just beginning.
From Odzi High School, some of the teachers joined our meeting and tested the mushrooms. In Kwekwe and Kuwadzana, they have started packaging their mushrooms.
All communities are selling their mushrooms at $5/kg instead of the $3/kg we originally used to establish their sales target of $1500/community.
We learned that a number of the trained girls have been re-enrolled in school by some donor organizations. But, the groups realize that they can continue with the project when the girls are not in school and new girls have also joined the project.
We believe that these community groups are now set on a real mission, and we are grateful to the efforts of Munyaradzi Madhure, the young man that worked hard with the community groups.