By Hendrix Kabwe, Development Facilitator
Catherine Chewe, 27, has for a long time longed to transform her life and that of her family. She has tried many things to try and make it in her life. But, none have worked.
“Life has not been easy,” Catherine says. “I have tried farming and worked as an untrained community schoolteacher (not on government payroll) and depended on community contributions for a wage, but that too did not work out,” she says.
“It has been a nightmare to get paid on time by the community members as most parents have challenges paying for their children’s fees on time,” she explains.
But, Catherine is determined. “I never gave up, I was hopeful one day things would get better,” Catherine says.
Her longtime endurance and dedication eventually opened new doors to other opportunities. Thanks to World Vision’s Empowered Worldview programme, which helps to change household mindsets, enable them to realize their potential and see opportunities they can utilize to transform their lives.
“My eyes opened when I attended World Vision’s empowered world view training,” Catherine points out, “that’s when I developed a dream after realizing I could invest my little resources into a small businesses, such as starting a salon and soya bean farming.”
Catherine, who lives in Kafwikamo community of Mumbwa district, located about 55km north-west of Mumbwa says since then, things have never been the same again.
Shortly after the training, which was conducted in June, 2018, Catherine started a salon business that later helped her raise some income which she used to rent about three hectares of land and planted soya beans.
From the piece of land, Catherine planted Soya Beans in the 2018/19 farming Season and anticipated to harvest more than 80 50kg bags of Soya Beans. Unfortunately, due to the partial drought, she only harvested 30 50Kg bags and realized K6600 (about $526 USD) from the sales.
Even though her harvest was smaller than expected, her conditions have improved. “With all I have achieved, I am now able to afford three meals a day, something I could not afford before. I am managing to meet home basic needs, such as groceries, relish and clothing,” she says, explaining that she even has enough to help pay for her younger sister’s school fees.
Not only is Catherine helping her sister receive an academic education, she is also training her in employable skills as she helps in the salon during school vacations.