Running on empty


Photographs by Alex Baker

‘As a mother, I feel very bad,’ says Alaya. ‘My child is crying, she wants food, but I don't have food… I don't have anything to give her, and I feel very sad.’

Alaya lives with her husband, Bazwell, and their three young children in Malawi. They rely on growing maize to survive, but the weather patterns that have guided their farming for generations have changed. And it’s putting everyone at risk of sickness and starvation.

Frequent flooding is bringing diseases like cholera and diarrhoea, which can be deadly for children. The floods keep damaging Alaya’s home and washing away the little food they have. And her crops are failing again and again.

This means that for 11 months of the year Alaya and her family are hungry – surviving on just one meal a day. Alaya and Bazwell will often go without, so there’s a little more for the children. It’s affecting her ability to breastfeed her youngest daughter, Emily.

‘My worst fear is that my children may die. How can they eat if their mother has no food?’ Alaya says.

Planting hope

With help from our local partner, Alaya and Bazwell will learn new ways to work the land under these tough conditions.

‘They will be the first organisation working here with families that have been affected by the flooding,’ shares Alaya. ‘They're doing a good job, working with the most vulnerable people in the community, where people are trying to find better ways of living.’

Training like this is saving lives. It’s giving people like Alaya a way to lift their families out of poverty for the long haul. It’s more than just making sure they have enough food to survive.

People are empowered by their new skills. It’s restoring self-esteem and giving them a chance to dream again. If you’re constantly worrying about where your next meal comes from then you can’t plan for the future. School fees can now be paid, giving children opportunities to learn and create a bright future for themselves. Homes can be repaired to withstand floods.

‘My worst fear is that my children may die. How can they eat if their mother has no food?’

ALAYA

Life to the full

For millions of people around the world, including Alaya, poverty is a huge barrier that stops them from enjoying life in its fullness – a life that enables them to thrive, not just survive.

Poverty isn’t part of God’s plan. You are. And thanks to the funds raised by people like you through the Big Quiz Night, our local partner can continue to do all they can to help people like Alaya and her family get back on their feet. And flourish.

Tearfund is working through local partners and churches in more than 50 countries to help people lift themselves out of poverty and reach their God-given potential. And by taking part in the Big Quiz Night, you’re making this transformation possible. Thank you.

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