How a vegetable garden changed my life

Tawanda by his vegetable garden in Zimbabwe

This Lent you may have heard about Tawanda from Zimbabwe and how hungry he was as a child. You may have heard how CAFOD helped Marian to plant a vegetable garden and how Tawanda’s little brother Svondo grew up with plenty of good food. But what happened to Tawanda?

Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Tawanda. I’m 21 years old and I live in Gokwe North District with my mum, dad, two brothers and little sister.

What was your childhood like?

When I was younger, I remember being so desperate, we’d eat anything. We ate roasted groundnuts with sadza. It’s not something I’d recommend. It’s like eating salt.

What are you doing now?

I have my own vegetable plot at the community vegetable garden. I farm the plot so I can sell vegetables to buy things like clothes and shoes. I enjoy working on the plot – it’s my only way of earning money.

Donate to CAFOD so more people like Tawanda can have the chance to plant their own vegetable garden in Zimbabwe

How long have you had your vegetable plot?

We started the community vegetable garden in 2016 with help from Caritas and CAFOD. I am one of 47 people who each have a plot at the garden. I’m grateful to those who helped us with the garden, especially with the fence. Imagine trying to grow crops here without a fence. All our vegetables would be eaten by livestock.

Do you remember the first time you sold vegetables?

I remember perfectly well the first time I got money from the garden. We had some green maize here. It was the first time I had sold anything and held money in my hand. I felt so happy. I don’t even know how to explain it. I was so pleased I’d persevered and was able to grow some vegetables.

Watch and share this short summary of Tawanda’s story

Tawanda and Svondo – A Life Changing Difference

Your support helps people like Tawanda change their lives. Read his story>>

Posted by CAFOD on Saturday, 3 March 2018

Do you have a message for people your age in England and Wales?

To young people in the UK, I wish you well. I encourage you to persevere with whatever you are doing. If you get a good job, hold onto it.

What are your hopes for the future?

Svondo in Zimbabwe can grow up strong thanks to CAFOD-funded nutrition projects
My little brother, Svondo, is now seven. In this photo, he’s just stolen some peanut butter from my mum!

In the future, I wish to have a good home where I can live. I’d like to have enough food, clothes and money for my children. I hope to have children one day.

I hope my younger brothers and sisters pass their exams and get good jobs. I don’t want them to stay at home like I did. I failed all my exams. I don’t know what the future will bring for me, but for now I’m content. At least I have something.

Donate to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal

Author: CAFOD

CAFOD stands for the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development. We are an international development charity and the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. We stand beside people living in poverty – whatever their religion or culture. Through local church partners, we help people directly in their own communities, and campaign for global justice, so that everyone can reach their full potential. How to get involved with CAFOD None of our work is possible without you. Whether you donate, campaign, download prayers or volunteer we are grateful for your support.

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