A Better Life for the Zimba Family
March 16, 2015
Failing to provide basic needs for eight children was not acceptable to Matolino and Oliveta Zimba. Days of malnourishment from missed meals, stress from debt after borrowing money to survive and struggling to harvest enough food from year-to-year were intolerable and not something the couple was willing to do any longer. In 2013, when Children’s Brighter Future (CBF) offered them the opportunity to learn new farming techniques to improve their livelihood, Matolino and Oliveta did not hesitate to participate and involve their children.
The entire family learned the importance of nutrition, rotational gardening, composting, conservation farming and financial planning from CBF training. Matolino was so diligent in crop and animal production that he was chosen as a lead farmer in the CBF program and helped create the Takondwa Club, a membership of farmers that practice modern farming techniques as a group. Matolino, his wife and children, modeled farming for the club on a ¼ acre piece of land so the members could then replicate what they learned on their own gardens.
Their example and leadership earned the Zimbas great recognition, respect and trust by their fellow community members. As successful farmers, educational and business opportunities opened up to the family of 10 that now enjoys enough food that surplus is sold for additional income. Not only are basic needs met in the family, but the Zimba children now have goals to attend college and have skills they can pass onto their own children when they become parents. ■
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