YOUR October peace mail from Zimbabwe
My name is Priscilla. I used to be very poor and my family would beg for food. It made me sad. Our days were spent looking for food just for the children to survive. Mostly, we would have one meal in the evening, sharing a little bowl of porridge. There were times when I had no food for the family.
I faced many challenges. As there was a lack of food, my children were often in ill-health. It pained me greatly because sometimes my children could not go to school. We also lacked knowledge of how to solve our own problems. I thank God that the team at Christian Care with support from the Zimbabwe Council of Churches helped us to realise our potential.
I joined the Conservation Farming program in 2014 with a group of others. From the training we received, we were convinced that the conservation farming method was the best ever. When we started farming this way on our land it did not take long to see the results.
In training, we were encouraged to work in groups and share ideas. I enjoyed working in a group because it promoted knowledge sharing and a bit of competition. You can learn and copy from what others are doing.
We are in a drought now but I am still going to get a decent harvest because I am using techniques to retain moisture in the soil. Some farmers nearby, who do not do the program, won’t get anything as they are still practising traditional farming methods that don’t work in times of drought. Conservation Farming is beneficial for women too, as you only need a small piece of land to get a big harvest. It is not too labour intensive and you won’t run out of food for the family.
Being a Conservation Farmer has changed me. People used to know me for being very poor, now people come to me to buy maize and chickens, and get advice. I like giving advice as my neighbours get the assistance which I got, so that benefits everyone.
The money I get from selling my harvest and chickens enables me to pay my children’s school fees. My first child did not get anywhere with school when we were very poor, but today the younger ones are in high school.
When we had no food, my hope for the future was not clear. I spent my day figuring out how I could feed my family. But God always has a plan. It was during this time that the program was introduced. It was really God’s plan to uplift us.
My message to the people in Australia who are supporting the project is thank you for your support. May you continue to support us so that we get more knowledge through training workshops. I appeal to you not to forget us.
The Conservation Farming program is currently supporting 1,200 farmers in 23 wards within the Masvingo Province in Zimbabwe, thanks to your kind gifts to Act for Peace. Farmers are trained for three years on the program and once they graduate they disciple other farmers in Conservation Farming skills.
Download this Peace Mail in pdf
Your Support is making a difference:
$69 can give a person in Zimbabwe a farmer’s starter kit with tools, drought-resistant seeds and training.
In Zimbabwe, crippling drought and Cyclone Idai which devastated the country in March have pushed the resilience of farmers. But your gifts are helping them through training, tools, and seeds which are all part of the Conservation Farming program.
Conservation Farming is an innovative method of farming which improves soil condition, conserves moisture, and causes minimal disturbance of the land, helping to produce a successful harvest.
The program also works through the mentoring of new farmers and growing skills within a community of farmers. People are trained over three years and farmers then go on to encourage other farmers to join the program. Along with providing nutrient rich food for a family, Conservation Farming produces excellent crop yields and reduces dependency on food aid.
Keep an eye out for your Christmas catalogue of Gifts for Peace – a special way to show a loved one you care while making a lasting impact in the life of someone just like Priscilla.
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