No longer burdened by worries about feeding his wife and five children, Patrick Mambwe from Zambia’s Serenje district has discovered a real zest for life.
Born and bred in the village of Kashitu, Patrick, 37, grew up only too aware of the problems facing him and many neighbours.
The big one was growing enough food to live off, let alone having a surplus to sell and gain an income to pay for the kids’ school fees or medical treatment.
Then a project run by Tearfund partner, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, identified Patrick and his family as among the most vulnerable community members.
Having a house like this has been a dreamPatrick Mambwe
He’s one of about 1,000 people in Serenje who’ve been taught new techniques for preparing the land for planting, how to space the plants to optimise yields, as well as the importance of timely weeding.
Patrick, who was also given 15kgs of bean seeds, said: ‘I had a very good harvest from both maize and beans. God fulfilled my desires.
‘From the sales, I bought iron sheets and I’ve built a house with burnt bricks and iron sheets. Having a house like this has been my dream.’
In Choma district, another partner, Brethren in Christ Church (BICC), is making hunger hardship a thing of the past through its Hamubbwatu Zone Development project.
Over the last year, BICC has helped nearly 700 individuals, who've learnt the benefits of diversifying crops and livestock, how to control pests and diseases, better ways to store food and how to market their produce.
A little history...
Tearfund’s partners in Zambia range from national organisations, such as the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia and Scripture Union, to a theological college.
We also partner with specialised ministries such as the Prison Fellowship, Jesus Cares Ministries and Jubilee Centre, and church denominations, such as Brethren in Christ Church and the Anglican Diocese of Northern Zambia, who support people living with HIV.
Tearfund also focuses on helping farmers to become more resilient to the impact of droughts and floods and on lobbying the government to improve early warning systems. Some partners are taking part in climate change forums to ensure their grass-roots experience feeds in to global work on this issue.
As part of Tearfund’s ten-year vision, we hope and plan to work with around 1,740 churches in Zambia to transform the lives of some 142,835 families.