Fired with the vision of missionary work in Africa, Merfyn Temple trained as a Methodist minister and sailed for Northern Rhodesia in 1943. Yet he soon came to reject the classic colonial-missionary mould. He joined the campaign for Zambian independence and became a close friend of President Kenneth Kaunda, working for the new Zambia in its struggles and mistakes. In his seven years of grass-roots life in the village of Chipapa, Merfyn combined the roles of rural development manager, outspoken advocate for justice, and local community worker, encouraging self-reliance and organic agriculture. He tells of his persistent belief in the people, and in their capacities to build their lives and livelihoods: attitudes that are gaining a wider currency, forty years after his pioneering work.
by Merfyn Temple