Jen, a loving mum in Malawi, dreams of her children being able to have the education they deserve.
A terrible dilemma
Her oldest two boys have gained tertiary education places, which is very rare for young people from her rural area. One has a place at a prestigious polytechnic and one at a well-known college – it’s even on one of Malawi’s banknotes.
Jen works hard to provide for her children. But she can barely scratch a living from the soil. Soaring costs of food, fuel, fertiliser, school uniforms and school fees are crushing dreams and keeping her family in poverty.
Now, Jen has had to make a choice. One no mum should be forced to make. Rising costs mean Jen can pay for only one of her sons’ college courses.
Help this strong and determined mum provide for her family’s future
Jen desperately needs to earn more, so that her oldest son Mathews can study as well. His place at a prestigious college is reserved for a year, so Jen remains hopeful that he’ll be able to start his course.
The erratic weather is affecting Jen’s profits. ‘The result is that our harvest is very little,’ she says.
But Jen remains resilient. ‘We say, let’s work hard so that the money will help the children go to school,’ she smiles.
Crops with amazing potential
Jen and her husband have two acres of pigeon peas, but they are struggling with the effects of the climate crisis. The rainfall is unreliable, and there are more storms, flooding and stronger winds.
The pigeon pea is a tough plant, able to withstand a lot – just like Jen. But to make the most of her crop, Jen needs to plant good quality seeds and sell for the best price possible, and not to unscrupulous middlemen.