Jenna Built a House

Jenna used to have a husband. Unfortunately though, her marriage wasn’t a happy one. He was an alcoholic, and they lived in deep poverty. Life was unbearably hard.

A few years ago Jenna took her children back to her home village in central Malawi. She had nothing when she arrived, and had no way to earn a living for herself and her 4 little ones.

With no employment opportunities, and no resources, she didn’t know what to do. They had almost no food and only a poor shelter to live in.

But Jenna is no quitter, and in 2013 when she heard about a project we were running with our partner Rhema, she quickly signed up.

She began to learn about how to run a business. Her and a group of others in her village were helped to set up a Village Bank, so that they had a place to save their money and access small loans.

With a loan, Jenna started a business rearing goats. The business has been doing incredibly well, and she now earns enough to provide all the things her family needs, like three nutritious meals a day, school books, medicines and clothes.

Jenna also managed to build a safe place for her family to live – this beautiful house in the photo. She put an iron roof on it, which is a great achievement. The old grass one didn’t keep them very dry in the rainy season.

No one did this for Jenna. With a little guidance and some information, she was able to do it herself.

There’s no doubt that she still has challenges. There are lots of things that are difficult about living in her community. But now, perhaps for the first time, she has something special – she has hope.

She has hope that her children will not have to repeat her experience, that they will be educated and earn a good living one day.