LSU is lifting Malawian families out of the cycle of poverty with a leg-up rather than a hand-out, through sustainable farming and enterprise. With education there can be nutrition, enterprise, and health.
Most Malawians rely on farming for food security and income. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, but traditional farming uses damaging fertilisers and rely on a single crop. A single growing season depends on annual rains with a 10-year drought cycle. This makes harvests unpredictable and keeps yields low, causing a ‘hungry season’ each year.
Around 35% of the population suffer the annual famine – at least 6.5million people in 2016. Many have over-sold produce to satisfy debt, school fees, healthcare, housing, and other day-to-day needs. If a child under 5 suffers from malnutrition, they never recover. Half of children under 5 in Malawi are chronically malnourished.
What we do…
LSU helps communities break out of the cycle of poverty with a leg-up rather than a hand-out using Sustainable Farming. We give vulnerable families permaculture training, business training, and a 2-year loan for farming materials. They also receive a care package of basic supplies, designed to be the last one they’ll need.
Beneficiaries are trained in new farming methods and to manage their crops to they can feed themselves, and sell enough to buy the next inputs and basic goods. LSU aims to make them food secure throughout the year and increase nutrition, health and school attendance rates. Through self-sufficiency, dependence on aid and donations can be made a thing of the past.
In 2016, 10 families living in the rural remote area of T/A M’bang’ombe in Lilongwe district received this support. Many of these beneficiaries would rent out their land and work on other farms because they couldn’t afford their own farming resources, trapping them in the poverty cycle. Their families therefore only ate 2-3 meals per week during the hungry season.
2016 Sustainable Families
Read their stories below, and the full report here: 2016-2017 REPORT
Lydia is responsible for 10, including 8 children. She walked 30km / 4hrs every day, to mills where she collected leftover flour and discarded maize. With a starter loan and training, she inter-cropped pumpkin and soya. In 2017, her 4 acres of land has provided enough to feed her family all year. Surplus crops generated income to pay for the next crop and her eldest daughter’s school fees and exams.
Nikalson and his wife support his grandmother and 10 orphans. He couldn’t plant his 5 hectares and grow enough food for the year but in 2017, he harvested enough to feed the family all year and buy children’s clothes, soap, and farming resources.
Benson and his wife have 7 children. They couldn’t grow enough food to feed them or pay school fees. In 2016 he could farm more land and now feeds his family every day. He was able to pay for resources needed to re-plant, and for his 2 elder daughters to sit their exams and start secondary school.
Khazikani has 2-acres from which he feeds his 8 children. He could only cultivate a small plot that didn’t produce enough for more than a few months or generate any income. In 2016 he could cultivate much more land and has produced enough to feed his family every day for the year. He’s also afforded resources for planting and making improvements on his house.
Mclouyd can now securely and nutritiously feed the 11 children he cares for, including 5 orphans.
Agnes and her husband can grow enough food for their 4 children and 3 elderly relatives.
Maulidi supports 6 children, and 9 relatives. They are now food secure.
2016 beneficiaries have all harvested over 4 times as much and never had such a bumper harvest before this program.
100% are able to feed their families all year, and return the first instalment of their loans. The initiative has even been nick-named ‘Nsunga Moyo’ in Chichewa local language, meaning ‘LIFE SAVER’ in English!
LSU aims to support 25 more families by 2018 through this initiative, with your help! You can change the future for families like these and be the difference between 2-3 meals a week, or 2-3 meals a day. You can send children to school. You can be love.