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Life-changing gifts in action in Malawi

The gift of goats had a life-changing effect for the lives of the Thole family in Malawi.

For years husband and wife, Chakuwamba and Aida Thole, struggled to provide for their family in
Chikwawa,  southern Malawi, one of the hottest, driest and poorest parts of the country. They grew maize, rice, millet and sorghum but it was not enough to feed their family. With money so scarce, Chakawamba would use his wife’s cardigan as a makeshift blanket at night, as he could not afford to buy one for himself.

Husband and wife, Chakuwamba and Aida Thole, struggled to provide for their family in Chikwawa,  southern Malawi

In 2006 Chakuwamba and Aida received the gift of two goats from Trócaire supporters. This was a major turning point for the family. With support from Trócaire’s partner the Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM), Chakuwamba learned about goat breeding and used the money he earned to diversify into cotton farming.

When we met Chakuwamba last year he told us, “From just two goats I’m happy now to say I’m a very proud farmer. I’m able to send my children to school. I have a boy and a girl in secondary school and I’m able to support them and pay for their school fees. Through cotton farming and caring for the goats I’ve been able to buy iron sheets and cement and build a new house.”

Chakuwamba and Aida Thole

Chakuwamba  is now helping others in his community. “My task now is to make sure I support many farmers in my village so that they should have better houses.  My wish is that in five years time, more than 20 households will have houses with iron sheets.”

Development worker Raymond from CADECOM  told us of Chakuwamba’s generosity with his time and knowledge, working with other farmers in the community and passing on his expertise. His generosity to his neighbours  has been acknowledged with a certificate of excellence from the Malawian Ministry of Agriculture.

You can support a family like the Tholes by giving a Gift of Change to your friends and family this Christmas.

Captions: Chakuwamba and Aida Thole. All photos: Alan Whelan/Trócaire.

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