COME TO ME, I’LL TEACH YOU HOW TO INVEST: THE STORY OF TRYNESS NYIRENDA

Tryness is a widow whose husband died so many years ago. She stays with her 5 children. She comes from Zigodo village, Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba district. Due to her widowhood, she was not able to fetch for her children because of rampant poverty that overshadowed her house. She had been struggling hard to find food, clothes, soap, school fees and other items for her children. Some of her children were suffering from malnutrition due to a lack of food supplements in their bodies. She was hoping for rescuers but to no avail. She was the talk of the day and nobody was willing to come near her for fear of being begged.

Nevertheless, as it is said that all problems come to their expiry dates, it really come to Tryness. Tryness was one of the people who were selected to benefit from an initiative called Pathways for Successful Transition project (PAST) which is being nurtured by the two organizations, Save the Children as well as Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) with funding from Financial Access for Rural Markets Smallholders and Enterprises (FARMSE).

Since the inception of PAST project, she has seen that her life has completely changed. She received K147600 which she planned to invest in agricultural activities. She grew 2 acres of maize where she has managed to harvest 45 bags of 75kgs each. Additionally, she also grew popcorn maize and harvested 5 bags of 90kgs each. Her house has become too small to accommodate all these bags of maize.

“We have received different lessons from the youth, Kanthete Radio Listening Club, the ones you gave us to assist us in creating and updating our business plans. One of the lessons we got was to do with smart agriculture, we call it ‘mtaya khasu’ here at Enukweni,” says Tryness as she was appreciating the good works done by the youths in the area. Tryness also said, “My home has transformed because now I follow all health principles as advised through PAST project, I have Mponda gear as you can see there at the toilet door, I am also able to do budgeting before spending any money.”

Presently, she is doing fish selling business at Edakweni trading centre from which she is making more profits and has managed to buy 2 pigs which have already given birth to one female pig. From the pig kraal, she is making manure that will be ready to be applied to her crops come next growing season. Her life has totally changed. She is managing to feed her family with six food groups, paying for the school fees of her children as well as buying them school uniforms. She is also able to buy pens and exercise books. “My children are no more suffering from malnutrition as it used to be in the past,” says the ever smiling Tryness. She continues to say, “Let all women come to me, I will teach them what it means to invest for a purpose.” Tryness is even challenging all other women to come to her and learn how she survived from the pangs of widowhood and become what she is today through PAST project.

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