One of the most effective ways to overcome poverty in rural villages is for smallholder farmers to increase their yields. More produce, however, does not automatically equate to more income, especially when potential profits are eaten up by the cost of transportation to distant markets. In recognition of this challenge, churches in Kalasa Mukoso, Zambia, are working together to build a local market that will become an economic hub for their village and surrounding communities.
The market building will have 30 stalls for smaller, daily vendors. It will also have 4 small boutique shops, a butchery, a kitchen, and 3 large shops. The largest shop is where the Farmers' Association will sell its members' produce (vegetables, eggs, cooling oil, pork products, etc.). All the shops will have running water and electrical hook ups, allowing for a variety of businesses to set up. The expansive courtyard in the center of the structure will also function as public community space.
With the collaborative Church network managing the building, profits from the shop rentals will be used to support more Joint Church Projects in Kalasa, as well as funding their compassionate care for the most needy people in their village.
This project is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through collaboration. The Churches contributed over 150,000 bricks and have paid for some of the casual labor, while Bright Hope Zambia provided the rest of the building materials and is paying the bricklayers and roofers. High levels of inflation over the past year have taken their toll, however, and work has slowed due to higher costs. If you would like to help this market open, you can donate here: