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World of Difference

See how your regular gifts are making a difference, and be inspired by the community in Salima, Malawi.

Two people sat down outside smiling
Malawi

Welcome Takulandilani ( English ) ( Chichewa )

Welcome

You’ve arrived in Malawi, a country known for its welcoming people but many of whom also face huge challenges of poverty and extreme weather.

Come with us and see a World of Difference in Salima on the shores of Lake Malawi, where Tearfund partner Assemblies of God Care is helping rural farmers increase their harvests.

Get a flavour of the life and welcoming people of Salima, in central Malawi

Map showing location of Malawi

Where is Malawi?

Malawi is a landlocked country in south-east Africa, bordered by Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Mozambique.

Malawi in numbers

Transforming lives in Salima, central Malawi

Tearfund has been operating in Malawi since the 1990s, working across the country through eight local partners. The focus of our work is helping and equipping local churches to bring transformation to their communities by harnessing the skills and resources they already have.

One of the skills that AG Care teaches is an innovative alternative method of cultivating crops called Foundations for Farming, which protects and preserves the soil, retaining moisture which can vastly increase harvests.

Woman smiling carrying a container of food

Adaliya no longer struggles to farm thanks to training from Tearfund’s partner, Assemblies of God Care

A thief sees the light

How rediscovering his faith and becoming a farmer set Banda on a better path to become a community leader.

A man sitting down outside

Banda and his wife Rhoda, sit outside their house in Salima, Malawi

Having left school after primary education, Banda had few prospects. When he was 19, Banda left his rural village to seek work in nearby Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital.

There he found unskilled work at a large supermarket. For 13 years he unloaded household goods and groceries, much of which he could not afford.

‘I gained nothing from that job,’ says Banda. ‘I had so little money. I have to be honest, sometimes I stole from the shop. I was so poor and in a lot of trouble.’

Now, seven years after he quit the job, Banda is a transformed person. ‘I now have a faith, and I realise that God is love.’ The change took place when he came home, took up a digging hoe, and opened his Bible...

A man farming
Three goats under cover

Top: Banda is now a successful farmer. Bottom: Some of Banda’s goats.

Doing something useful

Banda came back to his village in Salima, central Malawi, with nothing to show for his 13 years away. ‘I decided to become a farmer,’ he says. Crucially, he also came back to church. ‘I started praying.’

Although his renewed faith comforted him, life was still tough. Banda met and married Rhoda and they started a family together. But harvests were poor – drought and floods made it hard to provide.

Three years after his return, now a church elder, Banda received a letter from Tearfund introducing their partner Assemblies of God Care (AG Care). They wanted to support the village and train farmers to use innovative techniques to reap bigger harvests, working through Banda’s church. He was among the first to be trained.

‘The training from Tearfund and Assemblies of God Care has given us so many skills’
Banda

‘The training from Tearfund and AG Care has given us so many skills,’ says Banda. Now he knows how to sustainably farm the land, and his hard-earned havests have more than doubled – enough for a surplus to save, and provide for people in need in his community.

When asked what his hopes are for the future, Banda indicates. ‘This boy I'm holding, I don't want him to suffer the way I suffered. I want my son to be very well educated.’

Banda cites Ephesians 4:28 as the verse that set a new direction for his life: ‘Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.’ It’s Banda’s story.

Boy sitting on a pile of maize

Banda’s son, Chikondi, sitting on their bountiful maize harvest

Singing while you work

Banda’s harvest is so bountiful that he pays a fair wage to others to work his land. To gather ten bags of shelled groundnuts, Banda needed help to harvest them all.

Hear a group of women from the local church sing and have a good natter while they collect groundnuts in the sunshine, enjoying the fruits of the transformation. For a community that used to struggle for food, the joy they exude is infectious...

Women farmers singing and bringing in the harvest in Salima, Malawi

Smiling man standing outside Malawi Assemblies of God Church

Alishikado, pastor of Kaphatenga Assemblies of God Church in Salima, Malawi

An old Malawian saying offers a warning about delaying

There is a Malawian saying, ‘Procrastination results in failure.’ Which means, when life presents you with a problem, work hard today to find a solution. If you wait, the problem will be with you for the rest of your days.

The proverb has proved an inspiration for Alishikado, pastor of Kaphatenga Assemblies of God Church: ‘As a church, we were looking for people outside to come and help. We thought that others would come and give to us.’ This was before Alishikado received support from AG Care to help uncover solutions from within the community.

‘Life here used to be very tough. We would use the Word of God to encourage people that things can change. People would say that the task is too huge. Since we started the training, people have begun to believe that we can do it. People are no longer worried. Because their mindset has changed.’

Listen to the proverb in the original Chichewa, a Bantu language spoken in much of southern, south-east and East Africa.

Total Time

Total Time

Two images. One of children running along a railway track. The other showing a woman outside laughing.

Top: Children running along a railway track. Bottom: Marculata has started harvesting groundnuts.

We hope you enjoyed your time in Malawi. Where will you be visiting next? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see…

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