Food is a game changer for Fanny

Food is a game changer for Fanny

Fanny, 49, cannot stop smiling. Her youngest daughter, Gertrude, has just started Grade 1.
Just 10 months ago, Fanny and her five children were suffering from poverty and hunger. Living in a rural and remote Malawian community, they were short of opportunities.
To make ends meet, Fanny and her children worked in the hot sun, pulling weeds, planting seeds and watering plants in other people’s gardens. Trying to provide food in those desperate times made it very difficult to provide for her children’s school needs and led to the point where they all dropped out.

Pictured: Fanny ready to sell the day’s batch of banana fritters.
Alongside 3,200 other households, Fanny was soon registered in a World Vision programme which provided her with maize, beans and vegetable oil for her family. These ingredients allowed her to feed her family and start a small business - cooking and selling banana fritters close to their home. Her fritters quickly became a hit in their community and she continuously sold out before the end of the day.
Now, Fanny can buy food and has hope for her family. Through her sales, she could buy sets of books for all of her children. Fanny counts one of her greatest joys as the day she bought her children pairs of shoes and a new shirt for her son Leonard.
All of her children are thriving at school. “I was number 15 out of 62 in my Grade 5 class,” says her son Leonard.
Fanny says that the presence of food in the family was a game changer. She adds that not only did it give her the freedom of mind but also challenged her to improve herself and the family in a way that she could manage with her children.
“I told myself that we can do better with our situation,” she says. “You see, in a village like this I do not dream of having a lot of money. I just want my children to eat good food and go to school.”

Pictured: Gertrude in her new school uniform.
Fanny isn’t the only person who has noticed a positive change in her children. Head teacher of the local primary school, John Monjeza, has noticed that Gertrude and Leonard are more hard working, disciplined and determined.
“Trust me, I have taught hungry children in various classes in my teaching profession,” he says, “It is one of the toughest things I face as a teacher. You cannot get across your ideas to the learners or, let alone, engage them in critical thinking which is demanded in learning because they are hungry. They cannot think of anything apart from food.”
For this, John says that the World Vision programme has helped save many children’s dreams not only at his school, but in many other communities.