The Power of Self-Confidence
By Innocent Semu
Gama Nyundo is a husband and father of five and is proud of the new farming techniques he’s learned.
At first, Gama was unsure of how the project could help his family’s financial situation.
“When Rhema and Hope for a Child first started partnering with my community, I did not believe what staff told us,’ he recalls. ‘I had seen many other organisations come in, and nothing changed. But this time it was different.”
Gama embarked on a transformative life journey, and at the heart of his story is the realization that knowledge and training are tools that can empower, and turn one’s life completely around.
“I had seen many other organisations come in, and nothing changed. But this time it was different.”
Gama’s experience with our projects began in 2013 when he joined Chimwemwe Village Saving and Loans group. The group was designed to empower communities to take action to create a savings culture, and improve food security, health, gender equality and education. The project had a profound effect on Gama’s life.
Before attending the Economic Activity Selection Planning & Management training (EASPM), Gama used to struggle to feed himself and his family. He was only growing a single cash crop – tobacco – and purchasing all of his family’s food with profits from tobacco sales. This meant that he was forced to spend much of his income on items like grain, fruit, and vegetables – which can be especially expensive during non-harvest months.
Because of high food prices, Gama often found himself with little extra income and was not able to plan for his family’s future.
‘Thanks to his newly gained self-confidence, Gama is able to buy the things his family needs, and is leading an empowered and fulfilling life.’
In the EASPM workshops, Gama learned that instead of just growing tobacco, he could grow a range of food crops simultaneously. This completely changed Gama’s perception of farming, and he is now able to grow lots of his own food, providing greater food security for himself and his family.
“Growing many crops at the same time means I don’t have to buy food,” he says. “It also limits the risks related to losing a particular crop to pests or other problems. For two years now I have been growing maize, yams, cabbage, potatoes, soya, cassava, and pigeon peas, which my family can eat.”
Now, thanks to his newly gained self-confidence, Gama is able to buy the things his family needs, and is leading an empowered and fulfilling life.
Innocent Semu is CEO of our Malawian partner Rhema Institute for Development.
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