From empty to plenty

Community groupsEmpowermentMalawi

It’s early evening and Lutiya is preparing a snack of roasted maize for her children. They’ll be home from school anytime now. Lutiya has plenty of maize to go around, and there’s a good reason why...

Together with her husband and four children, Lutiya lives in a village in Salima district, Malawi. She is living a life she never imagined possible. It’s thanks – in part – to farming training she received through her church, a Tearfund partner.

‘[Before] we had no ambition and we just lived life,’ recounts Lutiya. ‘When we harvested, we would only get five bags of maize. As a result, my husband and I did casual labour to look for ways to feed our family. We had lost hope because life here is very hard.’

School struggles
Their children’s education was affected, and the family faced financial penalties for not paying school fees on time. ‘It meant they would miss classes. We did not even have money to buy a pen, let alone regularly pay school fees,’ Lutiya shares.

They continued to live like this, struggling to make ends meet. Then, a life-changing opportunity came through their Pastor.

'[Before] we had no ambition and we just lived life.'

Lutiya

Pastor Chitekwele was one of several pastors who took part in a Tearfund-funded programme alongside our local partner, Assemblies of God Care (AG Care). The Church and Community Transformation (CCT) approach combines practical training with empowering communities to discover the resources and skills they already have. Through this, they find new ways to help themselves get out of poverty.

Light-bulb moment
When Lutiya heard Pastor Chitekwele sharing about CCT, she felt empowered to form a group with 25 members of her community. They started keeping goats and chickens to rear. At the same time, Lutiya decided to put more effort into her farming.

‘Despite the dismal harvests that we used to get, I decided to put in effort and, as a result, on my first harvest I was able to get 36 bags of maize and 15kg of rice,’ says Lutiya. ‘This not only fed us, but we were able to sell and make some money which I used to buy some more goats and chickens. We were also able to build a better house for our family. We are now able to start paying school fees regularly and our children are able to attend classes.’ 

Lutiya is grateful for the opportunity to lift herself and her family out of poverty: ‘We are thankful to AG Care and Tearfund who, with the teachings they brought to us through Pastor Chitekwele, have transformed our lives.’

PLEASE PRAY

• Thank God for how Lutiya has been able to transform her life through training and encouragement from her church.
• Pray that even more people’s lives will be changed with the training from Tearfund’s partner, AG Care.
• Pray for communities in Malawi and across southern Africa who are suffering the devastating consequences of the recent droughts.

Read more about the hunger crisis in southern Africa.

Andrew Horton

Andrew is Online News and Film Editor for Tearfund. This involves finding and writing up inspiring articles for the website, and capturing compelling stories on video.