Sweet Dreams

How a sticky treat got Davina out of a jam

DR Congo
Woman
Davina

Davina was born in a barely accessible village in war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, where women are vulnerable to violence and exploitation. She spent most of her life believing that there was no hope for her family. The solution? Here’s a clue: you might fancy spreading it on your scone...

Davina relies on farming to provide for her six children, but they can scarcely harvest enough to feed themselves, let alone sell on. ‘Life around here is hard,’ she says. ‘We do not have a market for our produce, so we are short of money.’

Short of money is an understatement. The family’s poverty means that Davina can only send one of her children to school. It can feel impossible for people like Davina to dream of a brighter future.

GUAVA FROM HEAVEN

Hope came to her family when a Tearfund staff member and our partner Action Entraide invited Davina and the other women in her village to a very unusual workshop…

Sabine from Tearfund had noticed that an abundance of guava fruit was growing there. A lot of the fruit was going to waste, as it couldn’t be stored. Whatever wasn’t eaten would be left to rot.

Sabine came up with a plan to utilise this God-given – and free – resource. It could be made into jam – which keeps for much longer and can be sold for a profit in the nearby village of Marabu.

‘If I work hard, I can make jam. If I make jam, I can help my children.’

Davina, Democratic Republic of Congo
Women making jam in the DRC

JAMMIN’

Davina was inspired by the jam-making demonstration. ‘It was easy to make,’ she says. ‘You cut up the guavas and put them in a pot, mix and crush them. Then you heat and stir, let it cool, then add sugar and a little water. Then you heat it again, slowly, until it thickens.’

She was so taken with the idea that she tried it again at home the next day. ‘If I work hard, I can make jam,’ she says. ‘If I make jam, I can help my children. I would love to do that because it would bring in extra money.’

The benefits of jam making encouraged Davina to see the potential in the resources around her. ‘I was surprised. We see guava as something with no value or use. We were amazed when we learnt you can make it into jam.

‘Making jam will improve my life. It could help to educate my children, provide for our daily needs. Maybe one day I can build a house.’

For Davina and her family, the future now looks a lot sweeter.

Every pound you raise could help teach people like Davina new skills – unlocking potential and releasing hope. Order your free Big Bake pack today!


Tearfund