Since our last visit three years ago, the Chikwawa district has suffered from poor rains 2014-15, flash flooding early 2015, drought declared nationally 2016, field of maize destroyed by animals December 2016, violent storm January 2017. We wondered what we would find.
We were so encouraged by how Eagles have dealt with the different problems.
We were so well looked after by Jimmy and Trywell and impressed with all that they are doing, and their relationship with the people of the Chikwawa district.
These are some of the farming group at the field that had been decimated by animals, refenced and nearing harvest. It was great to hear that there was a good harvest some weeks later.
This was Estadia with her new house, after she lost her old one in the storm. Built with emergency funding from Tearfund through the cash transfer scheme. She said to us: “I can now sleep comfortably in my house, completely secure. I am very grateful for the support that I received.”
This is Doreen, who was given 3 goats in 2012. She was able to pass on 3 goats to someone else in the village in 2013. Between 2013-2017 she has sold 18 goats, which has paid for children to go to school, a new house, and in 2015 buy food when food was short. She also uses the goat dung for her fields.
For Katherine (one of our group), this was her first visit to Malawi and she was particularly struck by this goat scheme, whereby once you had passed on three goats your “debt was paid”.
This is a bible study group at Chatala village who use the audio bible and meet together once week. It started in June. One of the ladies stood up and said how her home life had changed since they had been coming to the group. Her husband used to beat her, now he gives her hugs. The power of God’s word!
We also had the opportunity to visit Sylvia. I did send an update on Sylvia and Polly to John Archer.
We felt that she was struggling with life, but pleased to see that her son was helping out and had built a chicken house. She was also mow making very tasty doughnuts.
We then went on to visit Polly who was doing really well, and had some pigs as well as goats, and was in the process of having another house built that she could let to local hospital staff.
Our final visit of our trip was to Isaac whose life had been transformed by Foundation for Farming with Ministry of Hope.
Dramatic lifestyle changes in just a few years
MOH Programs manager, Dorica, was an inspiration. We did a short video of her which we have already sent to you, and I have used it at our own church and our Tearfund prayer meeting.
All four of us on the trip came back with renewed enthusiasm for Tearfund and what its partners are doing in Malawi. Hugely encouraging.