The Thungo family, the Free A Family representative family for Southern Africa, has some big weather news to share: the rains have come!
One of the challenges that many families in Southern Africa face is unpredictable rainfall. Nasoweka Thungo and her children rejoiced as they sat under their thatched roof and watched droplets of rain water her crops. The rains are something to be thankful for as they help the plants grow. Nasoweka’s corn crop is getting tall. Cowpeas, local beans, and nutritious lab-lab beans are growing in the soil between the corn stalks. The rain not only nourishes the soil, it also grows weeds! Nasoweka and her family have spent the last few months weeding—and there is still much to do!
It is important for Nasoweka to get a good harvest from her work so she and her family will have enough to eat throughout the year.
Nasoweka’s life is difficult. To earn money, she gathers firewood to sell or occasionally works as a day laborer on a nearby farm, but there isn’t always work available. It is important for Nasoweka to get a good harvest from her work so she and her family will have enough to eat throughout the year.
Nasoweka’s children have had some ups and downs in recent months. Simon, the oldest son, has been able to find occasional work, and he is paying for his own school expenses. When he has extra income, he also buys food and other essentials that he shares with his younger siblings. Nasoweka’s son Muhammed started going to school very late this year, because Nasoweka had not been able to get work to buy him the clothes he needed for school. She is thankful that eventually she was able to find enough to allow him to return to school. She was also thankful that she had some money to use to pay for the medical treatment that her son Philipo needed when he broke his arm while playing with friends. His arm was in a sling for several weeks, but he is doing better.
Nasoweka has been getting supplemental food items from the local health center for her youngest son, Kingsley. He was quite malnourished, but now that he is regularly eating nutritious porridge, he is starting to look healthier. Through World Renew’s health programs, Nasoweka has also been learning to make nutritious food for her children. When she has money, she buys tomatoes to add to traditional corn porridge. Now that she has tomato plants growing in her garden, she won’t always have to buy them. She also tried adding pumpkin leaves, soy, and peanuts to the porridge and her children really enjoyed it! She would also like to put eggs in her porridge, but they are too expensive to add on a regular basis.
Nasoweka is also putting her hygiene and sanitation training into practice. She recently made a tippy tap (a hygienic handwashing device) to help prevent diseases in her household. She has been learning about conservation agriculture techniques, too. She saved and replanted some of the sweet potatoes she received through World Renew last year, and they are growing well. Nasoweka has worked hard to grow corn using improved seeds she received from World Renew. She is thrilled that they look fantastic—much bigger than her neighbor’s plants. She hopes her results will inspire others to try conservation agriculture techniques.
After two successive years of drought, Nasoweka’s community is hopeful that this year their harvest will be plentiful. Please pray with us that it will be!
Southern Africa Team Leader
World Renew Malawi
Note: this is the March Free A Family Update for the Thungo Family. Supporters of Free A Family receive an update like this for the region they are supporting once a quarter.