Across the All About Food blog, we like to discuss a wide range of things, from food (obviously!) to away-days, community to new Foodie welcomes. We’ve got a super broad reach and want to entertain with all of our blog entries. Sometimes, though, we like to offer up something a little deeper. Something with a higher level of significance. Something that doesn’t need the humour to make the point. Sometimes the facts tell a story for themselves. And on that subject, David and Colin from the Leadership Team recently travelled to offer their services for a cause that is close to our business. Here’s more:

All About Food Ltd and Nando’s have always had a close relationship. They were the first brand that we brought under our umbrella and they’re a great part of our life.

The founder of Nando’s, Robbie Brozin, created an amazing scheme to in short, aid the fight against Malaria within Mozambique. The scheme is called Goodbye Malaria. Which is also their aim.

Malaria is a disease that is rampant within Africa. 90% of the deaths that occur because of Malaria happen in sub-Saharan Africa, with 219 million deaths per year. It’s a huge, worldwide problem that is massively concentrated within the African continent. As that’s where the founders of Goodbye Malaria are from – including Robbie – it’s a cause that runs strong in their minds.

Our relationship with Robbie, coupled with his enthusiasm for the Goodbye Malaria cause made us want to find out more about the battle they’re facing. This is why David and Colin took it upon themselves to represent All About Food for a few hours to help the team on the ground fighting Malaria directly. Here is a diary of their day helping the team:

A Day in the Life: Goodbye Malaria

First thing in the morning we arrived at our training hospital ready and raring to go. It was already a warm day, and it wasn’t even 9am yet. The sun and the humidity was already hitting us hard. Our day would consist of learning how to spray the malaria repellant, and a few hours actually spraying homes.

The usual training for this takes about 4 days, but due to our time constraints we only had 30 minutes, so it was all hands on deck. The spray that was used was in a large canister that was strapped to your back with a hand-held nozzle which was used to spray the insecticide. This nozzle also came with a set of rules that were borne from the need to utilise every last drop and not waste any amount of insecticide. As we were spraying, we needed to be 45cm from the wall.

After we had trained in the increasing levels of heat, we took a small ride from the hospital base to the homes we were about to spray. The town we arrived in was called Marracuene. Upon arrival, we got acquainted with the staff on the ground. These staff had already, days earlier, informed the residents that their homes would be subject to spraying and helped them remove their belongings from their homes. These homes, which varied in style, but all reflected the vast difference circumstances between Mozambique and the UK. Seeing first hand how some people live across the world is moving, yet their appreciation for what they have also stops you in your tracks; it is hugely inspiring. We set about putting our extensive (…) training to good use, making sure we covered their homes with just enough spray to keep them safe from the harm of the mosquitoes that spread malaria.

The team we were working alongside were employed 8 months a year, saving for 4 months rest from the heavy heat and spraying that can take its toll on your body. All employees are paid a wage and are local to the area they work. This helps the town’s two-fold, with protection from malaria and pumps finance into the region.

Once the houses had been sprayed, the homeowners can’t go back in for a few hours. The spray needs to dry making it safe for people to go in and get back to their daily lives, only now protected from malaria.

As we cracked on spraying more and more homes, our experience of exactly how hard this job was only increased. Carrying a super-heavy cannister, overalls and the rest of our things made for a tough, sweaty and tiring few hours. The sun beat down on us and the harder we work – we’re really trying to make a difference in our few hours spraying – the hotter we get. And it is scorching. We quickly get to realise how hard these local workers work and the good they do in these crazy conditions.

After we got through spraying a few homes – I think we did around 10 – we moved on from the community area onto the second leg of our day – visiting a Peri-Peri farm academy.

The Peri-Peri farms are a great initiative. Working with local farmers, Nando’s have created an academy to teach local people the art of farming and how to grow their futures through the knowledge they can transfer about farming chillis. But the influence of the farms doesn’t end with education. To add an underlying value, whilst the farmers are training and learning their trade, they’re paid a wage which helps them support their families and live a proper life.

The aftercare they receive from the academy helps them grow their business and stay competitive, too. We found out during our visit that Nando’s offer two commitments after the farmers leave to start their lives: The first is a ‘loan’ of sorts, loaning the chilli seeds that are needed for the students to begin their journey into farming, a gesture that is then paid back across the months when each farmer begins reaping the rewards of their hard work. The second commitment is into buy the chilli for their sauces from these farmers, paying them a fair trade price for their work, ensuring they continue to grow their business.

Discovering and educating ourselves on some of the hard work that goes on within our extended family, in places we wouldn’t usually visit, is always an eye-opener. It’s great to see good work going on in a selfless manner for people who could do with a boost of help. The dedication of the workforce in both the Peri-Peri farm and during the spraying too is an inspiration and we hope to take part in the scheme as a company again down the line.

If you would like to know more about the great work of Goodbye Malaria, you can visit their website here.