In the Field
Monica is expecting a bumper crop, and she has seeds to spare for next planting season thanks to some remarkable changes over the last couple of years. A widow now for just over twenty years, when her children died of HIV and AIDS they left her nine active grandchildren—a lot of mouths to feed on Monica’s pension of $3 a month. Under the grinding weight of the poverty she faced, she was finding it impossible to make ends meet when she was selected to participate in a project to empower local communities.
Driven by CHF, a project for ‘Improving Livelihoods in Mozambique’s Border Communities’ was developed with local partners who were already working in the communities. In a country where 54 per cent live below the poverty line, the project is improving food and economic security for 1500 women, men and children in rural areas, where poverty tends to be highest.
Monica got 25kg of seeds for beans, potatoes and vegetables, in addition to a chicken and a goat and advice on improving her farming yields. And her green thumb is paying off!
The beans have already produced four buckets, and the upcoming maize crop promises to be a big one. Through trading and selling her crops and seeds, Monica is making money while keeping enough back that she will be able to reap another good harvest next year, and will do the same the year after that.
“We never had such assistance before,” says Monica. “This year I will have a bumper harvest of maize. I will have enough food for my grandchildren!”
Monica knows that education means empowerment—particularly for her six granddaughters—and so her dream is to put all of her grandchildren through school. In the last year she made enough to buy uniforms for four of her grandkids, and the next year holds great promise for the rest.
Even with this recent boost the coming years will not be easy for a farmer pushing 80, but she and her family now have the tools they need to make her dream a reality.