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Earthen Vessels

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                        Earthen Vessel Partnership with Tikondane Peanut Butter 
A Community Development and Income Generating Project:

Tikodane means “Together In Love”.  In Malawi we have been working for the past 3 years with a group of men and women (mostly women) called the Tikodane Group.  The members of this group have all been diagnosed with HIV and for the most part are widowed and have children.  They live separately though they do share some common land that they grow maize and other vegetable crops.  They work together to plant and harvest the crops and hopefully sell them for the common benefit.  

As persons with HIV, they are often not treated favorably by the government and other people.  This means that they cannot take advantage of many government programs that help people.  We have come along side of this Group to help them in developing income generating businesses to earn the funds to purchase seed and fertilizer, send their children to school and pay for medical expenses. 
On one of our trips, we brought some hand operated grinding machines built by Compatible Technologies International (CTI).  CTI is a nonprofit located in St. Paul that has been working for 30 years helping people with the post-harvest.  We showed the Group how to grind maize and soybeans with the machine.  We then demonstrated how to grind roasted groundnuts (peanuts) and turn them into peanut butter.  This process was a huge hit and the idea was formed to build a business of making peanut butter.  Peanut butter is very popular in Malawi but hard to find.
The Tikodane Peanut Butter business is up and running.  Earthen Vessels has provided the initial capital to start the business (about $650 USD) and with 2 grinding machines, we are hoping that much profit will be made.