Fyness' story

Fyness' story

Overcoming food insecurity, through gardening, sustainable cookstoves and empowerment
Reading Fyness' story 3 minutes Next Jen's story

I used to lack food, but now, I am able to feed my family. I am grateful to Christian Aid. Thank you very much.

– Fyness Tembo

A struggle for food

Fyness Tembo is a 50-year-old mum of 5 from the Mzimba district, Malawi. Mzimba is one of the districts in Malawi experiencing the adverse impacts of climate change.

Almost every sector has been affected – including agriculture. Drought, dry spells and increased pressure on fuel wood, has lead to long periods of food insecurity in the area.

‘In the past, I was lacking food. I struggled to find food,’ Fyness says.

Empowering through agriculture

To make sure that Fyness and her family will always be fed, Christian Aid local partner SOLDEV helped her to set up a garden and provided her with a locally made cookstove.

They showed her important skills, like how to get her crops through times of drought and to nourish them at no cost.

’We have learnt about irrigation, and how to make fertiliser from manure and apply it to the fields,’ she explains, showing us her new garden, which she uses to grow maize, soya, groundnuts, beans, and a variety of fruit and vegetables.

Not only does her garden make enough produce to feed her large family, but she often has leftover produce, which she is able to sell and earn extra income.

Fyness also planted seven fruit trees, which she says have helped her and her children greatly. ’Since I have planted the trees, I know in the future I will have fruits. Then I and my children will no longer struggle to look for wild fruits in the forest. We will get them at home.’

A second chance 

Before meeting SOLDEV, Fyness, like many others in her area, was using an open fire to prepare her meals.

Locally-made cookstoves, like the one given to Fyness and her family, use less firewood than an open fire. This helps to alleviate the pressure of searching for and rationing firewood, and preserves the local environment.

’This cookstove helps us to use less firewood... we used to walk for more three hours searching for firewood. This has helped us to save nature as we are no longer destroying trees.’ Fyness shared.


SOLDEV provides training in climate-smart farming, seeds and training for backyard gardening, village savings and loan groups, and technologies like sustainable cookstoves to help women conserve wood and time.

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