Doney (pronounced door-nee) is a quiet and humble woman but, thanks to an innovative program supported by Caritas Australia, she’s creating big changes in her life – and in her village.
Doney beams when she talks about how much her life has changed in the last five years. “My life has been transformed,” she smiles. “I am now more knowledgeable on a number of issues and I have a vision.”
Located in East Africa, Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Over half the population is living below the poverty line, with more than 80 per cent of people living in rural communities, and relying on farming small plots of land to produce adequate food to live on.
In Doney’s remote village, located in the Blantyre region, her family have often gone months without enough food.
Yet, when Caritas Australia and the local Caritas, named the Catholic Development
Commission in Malawi (CADECOM), began a program in Doney’s village, they didn’t simply see poverty, isolation and food shortage: they saw potential.
CADECOM worked with Doney’s community to identify their strengths, so they can build on them to meet their needs. “It is important to use the local resources that we have so that our lives can improve. We have water here, and land, which can move us out of poverty,” Doney explains.
Empowering the community to make the most of their land, CADECOM trained families in new farming techniques, so they can produce more plentiful and reliable crops. “The problem of malnutrition in my household is old song now,” smiles Doney.
As the community looked at their strengths, Doney’s skills and passion for education were quickly recognised. “I was chosen by the community and after that CADECOM took me for training in Adult Literacy as a Facilitator,” she says…