People can become trapped in cycles of poverty when there aren’t opportunities created for them to break free. In Mali, Tearfund's local partner Youth with a mission (JEM) is buying land in communities where poverty is rife. They then split the land into plots that are given to families in need. The results are astounding: families not only overcome hunger, but they are able to earn an income too.
Fighting for survival
Every day used to be a fight for survival for Fadimata* and her children.
The family lives in Sagabougou, a village in central Mali. The climate is dry and arid with scorching temperatures during the hot season. During the warmer months, water is scarce and many in the community go hungry. The climate crisis has made weather like this even more extreme.
Fadimata’s husband, Amadou*, tried everything to earn an income so he could support their six children. From farming in the rainy season, to light construction jobs. But then he fell ill. For more than a year they travelled to hospitals and traditional healers to find a cure. Tragically, he passed away, leaving Fadimata a widow with six children and seventh on the way.
‘Everything had become all of a sudden dark around me,’ shares Fadimata. ‘Life had become very bitter.’
A family transformed
Unbeknownst to Fadimata at the time, JEM had just acquired land in Sagabougou. JEM offered Fadimata a 100 metre-squared plot, which she accepted.
Families aren't just given land, but training is on hand too. People are taught how to farm in a way that will care for their plot for years to come. They are also taught farming techniques that would help them be more resilient to changing weather patterns – particularly long droughts – caused by the climate crisis.
Fadimata now feeds her family from the vegetables she grows in this market garden, as well as sells some so that she can earn an income. The lives of her family have been transformed.
‘God helped my family and me through this market garden,’ says Fadimata.