TANZANIA - I first met Happiness under difficult circumstances. The drought that had affected most of Tanzania throughout 2016/2017 had left most families in the rural communities struggling due to food insecurity. Cattle and goats were dying due to lack of fodder. World Renew, together with our partner, the Africa Inland Church of Tanzania, were conducting agricultural trainings in the village where Happiness lived. Trainings made possible through the support of Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
As I was walking through the community, I heard the voice of a woman asking me for money or a bag of rice as her family had no food in the home. I introduced myself and through our partner, I learned that this woman, whose name was Happiness, had been recently widowed and that she had three hungry teenage children at home. Her life as a widow was difficult and she had to resort to begging. Her community could not offer support. Thankfully, we were able to respond to her request and then also invite her to attend future agricultural trainings.
Fast forward to March 2018. I was participating in another training in the same village when I was approached by a woman who knew me by name. When I asked this woman to share her story, she explained that she was, a year ago, the widow who had to resort to begging on the street. It was Happiness! She proudly invited me to visit her farm. For the past nine months, she had been part of World Renew supported trainings for the past nine months. When the rains came in late 2017, she had planted her small plot of land using the principals of conservation agriculture she had been taught.
Happiness reaped a bountiful harvest of corn in February 2018 and was excited to show me the Jack Bean cover crop that was blanketing her farm. Her 16-year-old son joined us in the field and told me that he also now wanted to be a farmer. He had witnessed the transformation that had occurred in his mother’s life and the sense of dignity that had come back to this family. Happiness could not stop talking about how her life and how her family’s life has changed. She is now a lead farmer and is teaching others in her community what she has learned. As we went from farm to farm, Happiness chatted with farmers, sharing not only her knowledge but also sharing small packages of Jack Bean seeds that she had harvested from her farm. She was now investing back into her community so others will reap a bountiful harvest.
World Renew Tanzania