Some habits have potential to stagnate a person in extreme poverty. This manifested in Nathan Zimba’s life who believed in drinking beer on a daily basis. This habit of drinking beer affected Nathan’s marriage to the extent that he divorced twice with his wife, Mary Zimba. Nathan’s beer drinking habit affected his household as he used most of his 12000 Kwacha received from Social Cash Transfer program. Nathan’s family was a laughing stock in Mpandanyali village in area of Tradition Authority Mabulabo in Mzimba district as his five children were wearing tattered clothes and depended on neighbors for food.

“I was a drunkard and did not take of the progress of my children’s education to the extent that my two children dropped out of school. I was prioritizing my Ngoni culture which encourages a man to be an excessive drunkard than my family,” Nathan said.

Nathan’s behaviour changed with the inception of Pathways for Successful Transition (PAST) project in 2019. This project is being implemented in the area of Traditional Authority Mabulabo by Save the Children in partnership with Creative Centre for Community Mobilization (CRECCOM) with funding from the Malawi government through Financial Access for Rural Markets, Smallholders and Enterprises (FARMSE). PAST project through its community structures; Luke Ndhlovu and Amos Moyo from Chiyambi Community Theatre Group who are Community Agent (CA) and mentor respectively approached Zimba’s family with messages on smart agriculture, budgeting, SBCC and WASH.

“After coaching and mentoring him on mindset change, Nathan gradually stopped drinking and started budgeting together with his wife,” Luke Ndhlovu said.

At the time, Nathan was receiving his seed capital of 100000 Kwacha he had already developed a business plan together with his family members. They opted to cultivate soya beans.

“We opted for soya because we have a big piece of land that has been idle for years. After selling my soya I got a profit of 800, 000 Kwacha. I used 650, 000 Kwacha to purchase a motorcycle which was my lifetime dream. The motorcycle is used for transporting people from Luwerezi to Khosolo trading centers. I invested 50000 Kwacha at Yamikani Village Savings and Loans (VSL),” he said.

This transportation business has helped Nathan to buy 3 goats and 8 chickens. At his home, Nathan usually plan on the next move together with his family members and all his children are now back to school. This has happened because Nathan now has a resilient and decent livelihood.

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