Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bradford man to set up community farm in Malawi
11:00am Friday 10th August 2012 in Bradford
A retired businessman who was locked up for a murder he did not commit in Africa four years ago, and contracted malaria on a return trip, is funding the development of a community farm in Malawi.
French national Jacques Lapergue, 65, who founded the Antique Glass Studio in Bierley , Bradford, will leave for Africa in September to see the work that has been done so far at the farm.
It comes after he was in touch with a missionary who had a 40-acre farm in Mangochi, near Lake Malawi, but nobody to work on it.
Mr Lapergue, a committed Christian, has funded a young farmer to work there for a year, after which the farm will become self-sufficient. People who live nearby will go on to run it themselves, he said.
“I’m going there myself so I will be able to assess the situation so we can start to build a little farm,” he said.
“At the moment it is only a small building.”
He said his long-term plan was to help set up a rescue centre in Africa for children.
“That has always been close to my heart,” he said. “I have always seen these children deprived there. Young children are dying in the bush and nobody is doing anything for them.
“I would say now I am in a position to help make a small difference and build from there.”
Mr Lapergue will keep a house in Bradford, but will spend half of every year in Africa for the forseeable future, he said.
He was incarcerated in a dirty and cramped police cell for more than a week after he found a corpse lying in an alleyway in Zambia in 2008.
He said after that experience he had no fear of returning to Africa, but he was hesitant to return after he contracted malaria on a trip to Malawi earlier this year.
But he said going back was his “dream”.
He said: “I’ve gathered a lot of information and made a lot of contacts, and by the grace of God I have got the finances to start something good.”