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Makande Womens Group members holding baobab fruit

camera icon Malawi, March 2021: members of Makande Women's Group showing off the baobab fruit they have colle...Malumbo Simwaka

Harvest stories

For Janet, hope came from an unusual fruit, and a group of amazing women. This is her story.

Janet’s story: 'I joined... because I used to admire the women who were already members'

Featuring Janet Ben, member of the Makande Women's Group, this video shows their incredible story and showcases their Boabab juice making production.

Makande Women's Group is a women-led Sustainable Energy Enterprise (WLSEE) that makes baobab juice. It is supported by Christian Aid through the EU-funded Breaking the Barriers programme.

Sisters stronger together

Janet gestures to a pile of muddy bricks, all that’s left of her old house after Cyclone Idai swept through Malawi in March 2019. Her family lost everything. But hope came from an unusual fruit – and an amazing group of women.

In the massive baobab trees near her home, Janet points out the fruit, high up in the branches. It’s this fruit that’s made all the difference to Janet and her friends in the Makande Women’s Group.

Together, the women have united to create a sustainable, innovative, baobab juice-making business.

Give a Harvest gift today

With your gift, you can help more communities around the world to grow, thrive, and build new lives full of hope, this Harvest and beyond.

‘I want us to be a family that will inspire others’

Through Christian Aid’s partner, Eagles Relief and Development, the group have received training in business and juice making, sustainable equipment and a low-interest loan.

With the profits from the business, Janet has been able to build a new home; the income gives her and her family resilience against the climate crisis.

She says, ‘The vision I have for my family is that we should no longer be poor’, adding: ‘I want us to be a family that will inspire others.’

This Harvest, unite with more people like Janet to find a way out of poverty and protection from the climate crisis.

A church collection could help our sisters join together to:

  • access start up money
  • train them in the skills they need to run a business
  • access sustainable energy

How your gifts can make a difference

Or €110 could buy all the ingredients needed for a women’s group to make a batch of baobab juice
Or €233 could pay for two juice-making machines to help women thrive
Or €582 could build a processing unit where women can team up to make juice