Funds raised will honour memory of former development worker

Self Help AfricaNews, Zambia

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Lifelong interest in overseas development work, and an enduring love for the time he himself spent working with a community in sub-Saharan Africa, has prompted the friends and family of a Cambridgeshire man to support Self Help Africa in his memory.

The friends and family of the late Richard Leslie Knight, originally from the Cotswolds village of Buckland, raised more than £1,000 in honour of his memory – to acknowledge the 89-year old’s long-standing interest in agriculture and community development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Known to friends and colleagues as Dick Knight, he was born in 1927 and grew up in a farming community. After receiving an agriculture degree from Reading University, Dick began work with the UK’s post war National Agricultural Advisory Service. However, his dream was to support development work in Africa and, in 1950, the London Missionary Society assigned him and his wife, Joy, to work with the people of Kawimbe, in Zambia.

In Kawimbe, a village in the isolated Northern Province of Zambia, Dick worked with the community to develop agricultural schemes, ox ploughing, fish ponds and well-digging, and help with the construction of a church building. The years they spent in Zambia became unforgettable for Dick and Joy.

The first two of Dick and Joy’s three sons were born in the nearby town of Mbala during this time. Sadly, in 1953, illness forced Richard and his family to move back to the UK where he continued to work in agricultural development with the National Institute of Agricultural Botany and National Seed Development Organisation in Cambridgeshire. Nevertheless, his support and interest in community development lasted all his life. So did the memories and learning from his years in Mbala District, Zambia:

“He always regretted that he was unable to return to work with the people in Kawimbe,” explained his son. “It would have meant a great deal to him to know that in a very small way the donations people have given in his memory will be used for Self Help Africa’s work with farming communities in and around Mbala”, he added.

Funds raised by Dick Knight’s family and friends will support Self Help Africa’s work in the Mbala and Luwingu Districts of Northern Zambia.