Diana Nkhoma aged 16 and a student at Namalowe CDSS is also an orphan from Chanasa village TA Nkhumba. Diana lost both parents while she was in standard 7. According to Diana both parents died the same year leaving her and her elder sister Towera under the care of their grandmother. Life completely changed for the two girls as the grandmother was not very supportive.

Life was hard. We usually were going to school without breakfast and coming back to no food at home. Our grandmother used to make us work in the field before going to school.  We were often without scholastic needs. We wished for a different life.” Narrated Diana

Towera was selected to Namalowe CDSS followed by Diana in 2018 and 2019 respectively. According to Diana, their uncle from Lilongwe pledged to pay school fees for the two girls. While at school in 2018, CRECCOM arrived at Namalowe CDSS with different interventions aiming at improving education quality. Among others, CRECCOM introduced the youth forums. Diana joined the youth forums while she was in form 2. While in form 3, Diana transitioned to the livelihood youth forum after learning from a friend that the curriculum at the youth forum had some business concepts in them. Diana joined to learn some skills.

It was at the livelihood youth forum that I learned some business skills and I went home and shared with my sister. We were driven by the passion to change our lives for the better. After 5 weeks of attending the youth forum, Towera and I were ready to venture into a small business. We started the tomato business with K3,000.00 which our uncle from Lilongwe sent for our upkeep. Within 2 months we were able to raise MK35,000 which we used to renovate our old house.” Narrated Diana

Diana and Towera moved out of their grandmother’s house into their own home of which they are called “freedom house”. The tomato business is sustaining the two girls both at home and at school. The business is only done during weekends. Both Towera and Diana are grateful to the project for the skills gained. Both girls aspire to become journalists.

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