Friskan Nyirenda is a peasant woman, mother of three children, who lives in a village in the central area of Malawi. Like the other inhabitants of her village, she has been fighting for years against the effects of climate change on the environment, seeking a dignified life despite scarce rains, insufficient crops and few resources available to meet the basic needs of her family.
Friskan is a determined woman who wants to improve her situation and that of her children. In 2017 Friskan began to participate in group training courses organized by CISP, thus investing time and energy to improve the production and productivity of crops, improve the management of family finances, optimize work and gradually become more and more independent and competitive on the market.
Friskan then joined the Rice Value Chain Development Program, which CISP has been carrying out in Malawi since 2012.
In Malawi, rice is a crucial crop both for self-consumption, that is, for many families’ food security, and as an income, as it can be sold to improve the economic conditions of farmers and their families. Friskan is part of one of the groups of women who produce certified seeds of rice of the Kilombero variety, the most valuable one, using simple but innovative technologies. In Malawi there is a high demand for quality and certified rice seeds, and the group produces and sells with excellent results.
Today, Friskan Nyirenda produces and sells up to 300 kg of Kilombero rice per year, which allows her to lead a safer and more comfortable life. She can finally afford to pay her children’s education fees and is proud to say that two of them are in college. She was able to fix and improve her home, and repaired the roof that kept leaking in times of heavy rain. Friskan also promotes a village-wide savings and credit system so that other women can improve their economic conditions.
This financial stability has been achieved after years of hard work, training, and personal growth, thanks to the support of the CISP team and our international and local partners. Among the most relevant aspects, certainly there is the fact that Friskan now knows that the cycle of poverty can be broken.
And we are happy to have supported her in making her dream come true.