Tembwe* has 10 children and every day he has felt the pain of only being able to feed them one small meal of nshima, a dish made with maize flour, a day. Like any parent, he dreamed of a bright future for each of them—but instead, he was simply hoping they’d survive.
Tembwe is a 51-year-old farmer living in Zambia. He supports his family of 12, including his wife and eight of their own kids, as well as two orphan children from his late sister.
Added to that, Tembwe has been incredibly sick.
He said, “On my worst days, I experience severe fever, rashes, and fungus all over my body, and my body rejects food and water. Once, I could only stomach one tablespoon of water a day. One time I had all these symptoms for three months.”
Along with this, Tembwe has been trying to focus on securing a better future for his kids. How do you do that without an income?
Things started to turn around when he met a lead farmer from an ADRA farming program. The farmer trained Tembwe on compost farming, intercropping, seed multiplication, winter farming, and crop protection. Tembwe now has crops successfully growing on all of his 8 hectares. His maize is already 12 feet tall, and the harvest is still three months away!
If the weather conditions stay good, he plans on selling 200 50-kilogram [110-pound] bags of maize—an income of $3,000!
Tembwe’s plans for the future are exciting. “…I want to buy a pump to irrigate my crops … and more livestock for manure and food. I also want to put my kids through high school, so they can look after me and take over the farm.”
Helping Tembwe put a stop to his children’s hunger wasn’t just about the food. It was about reclaiming the futures that had been taken away from them.