Onions bring tears of joy to a widow

For many years, Christine, like the rest of the people in Misambo community suffered because of their total dependence on rain fed subsistence.

 “In just three years my life has transformed - all my five children are going to school, I am building a six roomed house, and I no longer worry about what to eat tomorrow,” says Christine of Chanda Chamamba village in Kasama, Northern Zambia.

Christine Musonda, 53, is now a happy mother. With World Vision’s support, her hard work, good planning and sheer determination has transformed her life and that of her children for the better.

For many years, Christine, like the rest of the people in Misambo community suffered because of their total dependence on rain fed subsistence. farming that used traditional methods of farming known as Chitemene that barely produced enough for home consumption.

Providing for the family’s basic needs was an uphill task for Christine and her husband who is now late. “We hardly harvested enough from our fields and had no other source of income. All the children were not in school as a result.” Christine recalls, “When my husband died things became worse for me. I couldn’t even afford to buy cooking oil”. Christine says.

However, in May 2016, a ray of hope dawned on Christine and other members of her community. World Vision through the THRIVE (Transformation for Household Resilience in Vulnerable Environment) project built their capacity in farming onions among other crops, business and management skills.

    Christine with two of her sons sorting out onions

“I suffered a lot until World Vision trained and equipped me with farming and business management skills and introduced me to savings group,” Christine says. “It was only after the training that I realized I could do more with my life even as a widow.”

As if that was not enough, World Vision in November 2016 handed over a newly constructed Weir Dam to the Misambo community.

The dam which has canals that make up to 30 kilometres irrigates about 300 hectares of land, benefiting 300 households, making a population of about 2,000 people.

With farming skills and availability of adequate water supply throughout the year, Christine now engages in enterprising gardening. She no longer waits for rains to farm. She grows vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and pumpkins.

“In 2016 I harvested 23 by 50kg bags of Onions, in 2017 I harvested 45 by 50kg bags while in 2018 I harvested 30 by 50kg bags which is my main focus and raised over K22,000 (US$2200) after selling all the Onions,” she says.

Christine has raised even more from selling pumpkins and other crops she is producing in addition to the onions.

“I am now constructing a six roomed house. I am now able to support the education for five of my children and I have actively continued to save as a local savings group member,” Christine says.

                    The house christine is building

She adds, “I will ensure that the children finish their education. I know that once they are educated they are guaranteed of a bright future,” Christine reiterates with a smile on her face. “I am eternally grateful to World Vision for changing my life. Without this dam and the trainings, I could not be where I am today.”

Through the THRIVE project World Vision is contributing to improving food security and livelihood for the farmers which as a result is reducing poverty levels through increased incomes at household level as farmers are  able to grow crops all year round and able to provide for their families.

World Vision is implementing the THRIVE project in three districts of Zambia, benefiting about 15,000people with skills and knowledge in savings for transformation (S4T), crop production, conservation farming, environmental management business and livestock management.

This is being achieved through models including Biblical Empowered World View, Savings for Transformation, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and natural resource management and resilience and shocks.