Esme’s dream home became a reality in Malawi

Nov 7, 2019 | Inspiring Stories - Africa

Esme lives in a small, rural village in Eastern Malawi with her four children. She is a farmer and the sole breadwinner of her family. Esme’s family live in a one-bedroom dung hut – and that’s how she thought it would be for the rest of their lives.

Then, in 2012, everything changed for Esme.

After participating in The Hunger Project’s unique Vision, Commitment, Action workshop, Esme created a vision of building a new, bigger, safer home for her family – a dream so many of us can relate to.

Her first actions towards her vision included applying for a loan through The Hunger Project’s microfinance programme and attending training on improved, modern farming techniques.

As a result, she was able to yield more than enough crops from her farm to feed her family and have enough left over to sell so that she could buy bricks for her new home and pay for schooling for her children.

“My farming is a key source of income as it allows me to support my children’s education. I’m confident that I can send my children to school because I’m a farmer,” Esme said.

It took 3 years, but Esme was persistent, resilient and resolutely committed to her vision. By 2015, she was able to start construction on her new dream home and 2 years later Esme added a tin roof to the house. This tin roof was proof to her and others that she had made it! (Thatched roofs are common but leak in the rainy season). She even saved up enough money to install solar panels on her roof and run a small AM/FM radio through the power. Her dream home was now a reality.

But she didn’t stop there. Not content with her dream home, and being able to feed her family and send her 4 children to school, Esme wanted to develop herself: she decided to get an education. She successfully balanced her farm work, family life and school work to graduate and is now looking to start a career as an accountant. 

“If you work hard in school you can become a professional, and when you are educated you make better decisions,” Esme said.

Now living as a successful, single woman, Esme has had a number of male suitors asking for her hand in marriage. Being an educated, financially independent woman, she has happily refused them all!

“I am grateful to The Hunger Project because I’m able to live free from hunger. My children have gone to school and I am now educated,” she said.

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