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Charity brings festival goes down to earth thanks to homebuilder's donation

With a donation of soil for earth building demonstrations at a local music festival, David Wilson Homes has helped African Vision Malawi show attendees how they construct new facilities for those in need.

Attendees at the Shambala Music Festival were treated to workshops in earth building, at which the charity demonstrated how they construct adobe bricks to benefit the progression of a training village in Malawi to support orphans and vulnerable people.

Three tonnes of local soil was donated by the homebuilder for the festival at Kelmarsh Hall and the adobe bricks were subsequently donated to The Stag pub nearby to be used as seating in the garden.

Heather Palmer, Chief Executive at African Vision Malawi, said:

“We are the key earth builders in Malawi and we are currently doing a four-month course at Sam’s Training Village for marginalised people.  There is a lot of deforestation in Malawi, partly due to the use of trees to fire sun dried bricks. 

“We promote traditional techniques of Rammed Earth and Adobe building to National Standards as alternative ways to build using local resources. We are very grateful to David Wilson Homes who donated local earth, keeping our carbon footprint low.”

The charity has built a range of facilities at a training village in Malawi and those completed so far are a pre-school for children under five, a library, volunteer accommodation, the training workshops, reception, plus a kitchen and restaurant. 

They are training up ultra-poor, disabled and HIV+ people in vocational and life skill courses to enable them to become self-sufficient.

An earth building course is currently being run at the village, teaching marginalised people a vocational skill to help them become self-sufficient and to escape poverty. 

John Dillon, Managing Director at David Wilson Homes South Midlands, said:

“African Vision Malawi approached us simply asking for some soil for their demonstrations and we happily obliged to support the excellent work they carry out with earth building workshops.

“It’s also great to hear that the adobe bricks created by those at the festival have been put to good use in the local area.”

For further information about the efforts made by African Vision Malawi, please visit

Picture caption: The charity representatives leading a brick building demonstration with the soil donated by David Wilson Homes.

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