Enifa's Journey from Worries to Smiles


Today, Enifa Onani has no worries—only smiles.  Today, hunger and poverty are history in her household. That’s a big change from 2013, when she got divorced.  Before the divorce, she relied completely on her husband as a bread provider of her home and their five children. When he left, Enisa was hopeless and thought of committing suicide as she did not have any financial support.

After the divorce, her friend told her to go watch the annual money sharing from the local Village Savings and Loan Association—part of the Enhancing Community Resilience Project.  Enifa was inspired.  She decided to sign up right there. As part of what she learned in the VSLA farmer training, she started with practising conservation agriculture on her field outside her house. Most years, Enisa would get 50 kg of maize from that field.  Using improved techniques, she was able to triple her harvest on the same land. The success motivated her to use the techniques on a bigger family plot of land for 2014.

Last season was a bumper year for Enisa, despite floods that affected most of her district.  She had planted on high ground, and the new agriculture techniques helped her fields withstand the heavy rainfall.  Enifa harvested 750 kg of maize—15 times her harvest in 2013.  She also earned interested on her VSLA account, so now she has a working capital of $86 dollars—10 times her original investment.

"I feel empowered, and I do not need a man to make me feel vulnerable in return for his financial support,"  Enifa said while smiling

The results have inspired Enifa to adopt even more practices that ECRP teaches.  Now she is embarking on Post-Harvest Management. She made sure that she had properly handled her maize to maximize preservation. When she brought her crops home, Enifa had already built her storage silo, where she kept 350 kilos of maize for consumption.  She sold the remaining 50 bags for a profit of $70—about a month’s income for someone in rural Malawi.    

What is she using the money for? She bought iron sheets for her house and now feels safe in case of disasters because her house can withstand strong winds. Enifa has also managed to procure 2 goats.

“My economic situation is way better now. Now I am a business lady, where before I was depending on my husband. I am able to feed well my children as they go to school and they are well dressed."

About the Project: The Enhancing Community Resilience Program is funded through the generous support of UK Aid, Irish Aid, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Led by Christian Aid, the consortium works with more than 300,000 people in rural Malawi to build livelihoods, food security, and resilience to climate change.