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Janet Zirugo at her homestead in Njani village, Zimbabwe

Janet Zirugo at her homestead in Njani village, Zimbabwe - David Brazier/Christian Aid

Janet's story

Love gives Janet the courage to stand strong against drought and hunger.

In her village in Zimbabwe, big-hearted Janet Zirugo, 70, has seen firsthand the desperate hunger drought causes.

She's the sole provider for the children in her family, many of them orphans. Love is Janet's superpower – it gives her the strength and courage to keep going, even in the hardest times.

Janet's story

See and hear Janet's story in her own powerful words.

In my family, children look up to me and I must give them food. I am more than glad to share what I have.

- Janet.

Janet Zirugo, her husband and their great-grandchildren at sunset

Janet Zirugo, her husband and their great-grandchildren at sunset - David Brazier/ Christian Aid

An 'unbearable' situation

Janet reflects on a particularly painful time:

‘One year, there was so little food. Rains had not fallen. We ate things which we wouldn’t eat in normal times. I made porridge and gave it to the children, then removed a portion and put it down for the dogs. The children picked up the dogs’ share because they weren’t full. When I saw this, I knew the situation had become unbearable... My heart was so painful thinking that my family would die. By God’s grace we did not die. We soldiered on.'

'God gives me the power to plough my field to help my family.’

With faith, hope and love, Janet brought her family through this time. With all her strength, and with her husband John at her side, she works on her farm so her family - and her neighbours - never again go hungry.

Her drought-resistant seeds are now blooming into a garden of plenty – bowls full of groundnuts, wild fruit, golden corn; a rainbow of colour.

The new storeroom she's built keeps her harvest safe and secure, which helps her bounce back in future droughts.

God be with me and my family. Please look after them, Lord. Look after my livestock, my husband, and me too. Give me strength to fend for my family. Amen

- Janet's prayer.

'This project is lifting us up. We are thankful.'

Through our local partners, our BRACT programme empowers the most vulnerable communities in Mutoko and Mudzi districts of Zimbabwe to prepare for, and adapt to, the harsh and changing climate.

Janet - and other women like her - knows when changes are coming, and can adapt before crisis hits.

With you by their side, women can provide enough food for their families, and live with hope.

Janet Zirugo poses with her grandchildren at their home

Janet Zirugo poses with her grandchildren at their home. - David Brazier/Christian Aid

How changes like this became possible

Janet now has the power to provide food and hope for her whole family. As she reflects on how her life has changed, she sings with joy.

She smiles at seeing her grandchildren’s smiling faces as they relish the food she has grown, and as she hugs them tight.

With your gift this Christian Aid Week, more women will have the power to transform their lives. More families can break free from hunger.

Your Christian Aid Week Gift

Your gifts could help make more changes like this possible for families like Janet's, and help them break free from hunger.