The Harvest Fund’s mission is to empower small-scale female farmers and equip them with the tools necessary for survival without aid. As part of our continued effort to show support for our farmers, we want to shine a spotlight on the journey of one woman who truly embodies the leadership, resilience, and enthusiasm inherent in becoming a successful small-scale farmer.
In the heart of Zambia, an inspiring woman has triumphed over adversity to provide for her family and build a better future. Esther Muskotwa, a subsistence farmer and mother of six, has faced numerous challenges in her life. But through hard work, determination, and our support, she has overcome these obstacles and transformed her family's livelihood. In this blog post, we share Esther's incredible journey and celebrate her resilience and accomplishments.
Through hard work, determination, and the support of The Harvest Fund, she has overcome these obstacles and transformed her family's livelihood.
Esther's story began in 1968 when her father passed away the day after she was born. Raised by her mother, who had been her father's second wife, Esther grew up as the sixth of eight siblings. With limited resources and opportunities, she never had the chance to attend school.
At the age of 20, Esther married and started a family of her own. Over the years, she gave birth to six children, but only managed to send one to school. Like her mother, Esther became the sole provider for her family, as they all became subsistence farmers to make ends meet.
Esther's family, like many others in rural Zambia, depended on maize as their staple crop. However, each year, Esther's harvest yielded 80% less maize than other farmers in her cooperative. As a result, her family struggled to feed themselves, and she earned a meager income of just $0.90 per day.
Esther's harvest yielded 80% less maize than other farmers in her cooperative. As a result, her family struggled to feed themselves.
Before we arrived in Esther's village, Esther faced difficulties providing food and education for her children. Even basic necessities like washing (laundry) powder were often unattainable. To supplement their income, Esther and her husband sold charcoal, a labor-intensive and environmentally damaging practice.
The Harvest Fund's support has significantly improved Esther's family's food security and quality of life. With the help of the organization, Esther's maize production has increased, allowing her to feed her family and even sell surplus maize. This extra income has enabled her to pay for her children's school fees and uniforms, as well as provide more nutritious meals.
The changes have been profound: Esther no longer needs to sell charcoal, and her family can enjoy at least two meals a day. In her own words, she would like to thank The Harvest Fund because her life has truly improved.
In her own words, she would like to thank The Harvest Fund because her life has truly improved.
Esther Muskotwa's story is a testament to the power of resilience and determination. Despite the challenges she faced, her unwavering spirit and our support have enabled her to transform her family's life for the better. As Esther continues to flourish and provide for her family, her journey serves as an inspiration to us all.
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