Liyana Zenasi hails from Zenasi village in Chilenje Area Program in Malawi. She is married to Enosi and together, they have 4 children, age ranging from 6 to 18. For years, they have engaged in rain-fed subsistence farming, using traditional farming methods and with no involvement into micro enterprise. Providing for the family’s basic needs and supporting children with school supplies was an uphill task. They could hardly harvest enough from their fields and had no other source of income.
However, the story is surely changing with the coming in of the World Vision THRIVE (Transforming Household Resilience in Vulnerable Environments) Project in the area.
Liyana has learned modern farming technologies and the use of improved seed for increased production and better economic returns. She has also learned the power of crop diversification. With the new technologies, she is very optimistic of a better future for her family. Apart from the traditional corn, Liyana has diversified with soya and ground nut production. “Now, I harvest enough for my family and the surplus is used for sale. My home is food secure and I have a diverse source of income. Providing for my family is no longer an issue,” says Liyana.
|Liyana with a customer in the tea room.
Liyana and her friends have formed a savings group which is one of the segments for the project. With her profits from the dividends, she established a tea room in the village. “I saw from other places in our community how people like drinking tea in the tea rooms and I decided to open one in my village, knowing that market was readily available,” explained Liyana. People are flocking to Liyana’s tea room in large numbers to enjoy a cup of tea. Liyana offers different prices for different size cups, in line with people’s pocket capacity. “In a week I make a profit of about K15,000.00 (about $20). I have never been able to make such an amount in my life before,” says Liyana proudly.
Liyana is a proud wife and mother. Seeing the gains she is making, her husband has become involved in the farming and business and is providing support. Their life as a family is changing for the better. They are able to provide food and school supplies for their children. “Life used to be difficult before but now we are much better. World Vision has changed my mind, heart and pocket through the Project,” she explained. Liyana vows to continue working hard in the garden and business. She has a vision: build a better structure for the tea room, build a brick walled house with iron sheets and educate all her four children. “Thanks to World Vision for opening my eyes,” said Liyana.