How You're Building a Sustainable Future in Malawi

05/20/14

Every day, 1,033 children in Malawi eat a nutritious meal at one of our children's centers. Each month, 171 liters (or 45 gallons) of sunflower oil go into those meals. And now, all of that oil is made right on our farm, with the new sunflower oil extraction machine that people like you helped provide!

 
At lunchtime in Mtsiliza village, 500 children press together in line, eagerly gripping their plastic plates. 
Lunchtime in Mtsiliza
 
No matter what's on the menu—whether it's the meals you package and send, or food from locally-sourced ingredients—every meal needs oil. Lots of it. When you're cooking for 500 over an open fire, oil is one of the most essential ingredients. It's also the most expensive.
 
That's why the new sunflower oil extraction machine at Chichere Farm is such a big deal. Now we can save money by producing our own oil. Not only that, we can generate income by charging a small fee for other local farmers to press their seeds in our machine. Here's a peek at how it all works.
 
1. When the sunflower blossoms are ready, they're harvested on our farm.
When the sunflower blossoms are ready, they're harvested on our farm
 
2. Then the seeds are separated from the flowers and taken to the oil extraction machine.
Then the seeds are separated from the flowers and taken to the oil extraction ma
 
Sunflower oil extraction machine
 
3. The seeds are poured into the top of the machine.
The seeds are poured into the top of the machine
 
4. The seeds are pressed, and the oil drips into two drums, where it is filtered.
The seeds are pressed, and the oil drips into two drums
 
5. The filtered oil is deposited into a pan. Next stop: lunch!
The filtered oil is deposited into a pan
 
6. The machine doesn't just produce oil. The pressed seeds come out in cakes, which will be used to feed livestock on the farm. This saves us money on animal feed.
The pressed seeds come out in cakes
 
Thank you for helping to build the children a system that will keep them fed for years to come. Now they can go to sleep with full stomachs—not growling ones—and dream about their own sustainable solutions to transform their community and their nation!
 
Thanks for creating a sustainable system for the children!
 
Learn more about COTN's sustainable development initiatives