Posts Tagged :

Our Stories

Esme’s vision of becoming a home owner

530 300 The Hunger Project Australia

Esme from Malawi

Esme lives in a small, rural village in Eastern Malawi with her four children. She is a farmer and the sole breadwinner of her family. Esme’s family live in a one-bedroom dung hut – and that’s how she thought it would be for the rest of their lives.

Then, in 2012, everything changed for Esme.

After participating in The Hunger Project’s unique Vision, Commitment, Action workshop, Esme created a vision of building a new, bigger, safer home for her family – a dream so many of us can relate to.

Her first actions towards her vision included applying for a loan through The Hunger Project’s microfinance program, and attending training on improved, modern farming techniques.

As a result, she was able to yield more than enough crops from her farm to feed her family and have enough left over to sell so that she could buy bricks for her new home, and pay for schooling for her children.

“My farming is a key source of income as it allows me to support my children’s education. I’m confident that I can send my children to school because I’m a farmer,” Esme said.

It took 3 years, but Esme was persistent, resilient and resolutely committed to her vision. By 2015, she was able to start construction on her new dream home and 2 years later Esme added a tin roof to the house. This tin roof was proof to her and others that she had made it! (Thatched roofs are common but leak in the rainy season). She even saved up enough money to install solar panels on her roof and run a small AM/FM radio through the power. Her dream home was now a reality.

Esme out the front of her home

She didn’t stop there. Not content with her dream home, and being able to feed her family and send her 4 children to school, Esme wanted to develop herself: she decided to get an education. She successfully balanced her farm work, family life and school work to graduate and is now looking to start a career as an accountant. 

“If you work hard in school you can become a professional, and when you are educated you make better decisions,” Esme said.

Now living as a successful, single woman, Esme has had a number of male suitors asking for her hand in marriage. Being an educated, financially independent woman, she has happily refused them all!

“I am grateful to The Hunger Project because I’m able to live free from hunger. My children have gone to school and I am now educated,” she said.

Take action for women like Esme

  1. Share Esme’s story on social media
  2. Join us in Malawi to learn from women like Esme
  3. Invest now in people with a one-off or monthly donation

Meet Sipho from Kachindamoto

513 279 The Hunger Project Australia

Sipho is from The Hunger Project’s Kachindamoto Epicentre community, Malawi where he lives with his wife and 5 children.

In 2015 Sipho received his first farm input loan from The Hunger Project. The then participated in agriculture training through programs available at the Kachindamoto Epicentre. From this training Sipho was able to harvest 50 bags of maize and selling 25 of them back to his local community, returning him a profit and enabling him to buy an iron roof for his home.

In 2016 Sipho took out another loan enabling him to harvest 55 bags and sell 30. From this sale he was able to purchase an ox cart. He now hires out this card to his local community and it provides him with a regular income. Sipho has decided that he won’t need any more loans from The Hunger Project because he now has a regular income and has the skills to grow and harvest maize himself.

Sipho now plans to buy a new motorcycle with the income he earns from farming and hiring out his ox cart.

There are many ways you can partner with people like Sipho:

Bienvenu’s success inspiring his community

710 575 The Hunger Project Australia

For many years Bienvenu and his wife Justine have been farming chickens, turkeys and rabbits.  After attending workshops at Zakpota Epicentre in Benin, they learned how to expand their business.  They have applied for credit from the bank and have since purchased more poultry and the necessary food to provide for their livestock.

“I already knew everything about poultry farming,’ says Bienvenu, ‘but my workshops in the Epicentre in Zakpota increased my knowledge in that area. So now, I know even better what my chickens and other animals need to stay healthy. I also learned to read, write and do my own book-keeping. I know what my company is about and through my improved understanding of accounting, I am better able to grow with it.”

Bienvenu has bought a larger farm and he has built barns to keep more chickens.  He has two permanent employees and hires casual staff when he needs help with the construction of his barns. He is already thinking about expanding further, so he can save money by growing food for his livestock himself.

“I need 500,000 cfa (approx. $1,175AUD) of credit per year, especially for the feed of my poultry. If I can grow that food myself, I’m one step further. I now earn net 2.1 million cfa (approx. $4,940 AUD) per year. I make the most of my profits during the holidays when people come to buy chickens and turkeys. I sell the eggs throughout the year… It is my goal to eventually become so big that I can deliver to catering. “

I make sure my animals have enough space in the barns, so that they stay healthy and I can continue to deliver quality. I now have 5,000 birds (including 3,500 chickens, 250 turkeys, 1,000 guinea fowl, 250 ducks and 100 rabbits. In the future, I want to grow to at least 12,000 poultry. “ Bienvenu’s extraordinary vision and business skills have earned him awards and visits from local politicians. He hopes to attract more visitors to the region through his work, and thus stimulate more economic activities.

People in his community are inspired by his abilities and subsequent success.  He is a big thinker who likes to share the knowledge and skills he learned with other farmers in his village.  He employs young people on internships and is happy that others are benefitting from his success.

Meet Romela

1024 768 The Hunger Project Australia

After being trained by The Hunger Project, Romela started her own family garden. The food she grows not only feeds her family but saves them money, and means that she can even sell what’s left over to bring in more income. So that others can do similar things to what Romela has achieved, she decided to start a savings group for women in her village.

Meet Kamla

Meet Kamla

1024 768 The Hunger Project Australia

Kamla’s resilience brought about real change in her village. Kamla was a child bride at 11 and had her first child at 12. Trained by The Hunger Project, she was empowered and learnt negotiation skills, and boosted her self-confidence. This empowered her to solve a local problem: some men in the village were wasting precious family funds at the local illegal liquor shop. Kamla led a peaceful and successful sit-in at the shop, and it was shut down. This meant that these men stopped spending their money on alcohol and abusing their wives and children.