BRINGING THE MOST IMPOVERISHED COMMUNITIES FACE-TO-FACE WITH THE ONE THING THEY CAN COUNT ON...THEMSELVES
GROWING STRONGER WITH VICTORY GARDENS
*Special thanks to Laura Ide, Joseph Chow and Emily Allen for all your hard work in creating this video!
The Face-to-Face Project Sets New Victory Garden Campaign Goal
Since The Victory Garden Campaign's official launch in July 2016, over 21,000 productive home victory gardens in 208 villages in central and southern Malawi have been created, transforming the lives of over 63,000 villagers. Because of this success, The Face-to-Face Project is excited to announce an ambitious goal to create 100,000 victory gardens in Malawi by 2020 — and in the process, help over 300,000 villagers facing hunger and poverty become food secure and self-reliant.
With each new garden, local community members gain the skills and knowledge they need to grow enough food to eat, earn income, improve nutrition, and lead healthy lives.
These high-yield home gardens are delivering long-term, sustainable relief to families. The Campaign improves the quality of life for all residents in a village — the more food people can grow, the stronger and more resilient a village will be. Victory gardens are easy to create, cost nothing for the villager to maintain and produce food within weeks.
The Face-to-Face Project trains local people to be role models in their own villages. Villagers carry this knowledge for a lifetime. That is why so many villages have achieved remarkable participation rates in less than two years. This guarantees good gardens in every village and builds a sense that change comes from within.
“We no longer travel long distances looking for vegetables. Now we save money & channel it to other household items such as soap & salt.... Our lives have completely changed.” — Chief Makulenje
April 2019: Malawi Hit By Major Floods and Cyclone Idai
Most people don't realize that Malawi not only suffers from extreme drought, but also in recent years a spate of major floods. These extreme weather situations result in even more hunger and poverty.
Malawi, along with Mozambique and Zimbabwe, have recently experienced severe flooding due to heavy rains and tropical Cyclone Idai. Phalombe, one of the areas we currently work in, is one of the 13 districts affected, and the President of Malawi has declared a state of disaster. According to the World Food Programme, preliminary projections indicate that at least 860,000 people were affected in the direct-path of the cyclone and many villagers have been moved to temporary camps.
While some of the victory gardens are damaged they are in much better shape than the maize fields. The Face-to-Face Project’s Victory Garden Campaign provides long-term relief to Malawian farmers by teaching them to bring food-growing into the villages and next to their homes, helping to alleviate relying on a once-a-year maize harvest that is now decimated due to the floods.
Cassim Seleman and Mary Chimbamba, pictured above in both their ruined maize fields and surviving victory gardens, are among the many villagers who’ve lost their maize fields, but the good news is their victory gardens are still in tact and will help them survive this year.
We need to help the thousands of villagers who don’t have victory gardens like Cassim and Mary. Please DONATE today to help The Face-to-Face Project scale-up our work to get victory gardens to those families who have lost everything.
Local community members like Silva Namikula wondered if she and her family would survive the famine of 2016. After learning about The Face-to-Face Project’s Victory Garden Campaign, Silva decided to gain the skills and knowledge needed to fight her own war against hunger and drought by changing how she grows her food. Together, we were able to achieve that goal by creating her very first Victory Garden in August 2016.
By September Silva’s garden thrived, even though learning new farming practices that make the most out of minimal water availability were very new to her. By November, Silva helped her neighbors create their own Victory Gardens, and compared to August when no one had a garden, a whopping 60% of homes in Silva’s village now do! Silva has now also created her second Victory Garden.
Many villages saw dramatic increases, due in part to neighbors teaching neighbors. Since home gardens are visible to everyone, people are naturally curious about these new sources of food, helping them re-envision the area around the home that is traditionally left as hard packed clay that is swept clean everyday.
While millions of bags of food relief for Malawi pile up in distribution centers, Silva and her village are now counting on themselves to control their future. The Victory Garden Campaign succeeds because it puts the skills and knowledge into the hands of those that need it most, ultimately making it productive and lasting.
August 2016: A garden, one of the first in her village, is created in Silva's old house that had collapsed.
February 2017: This garden is now producing a constant supply of food for Silva and her family.