June 2022: Surviving the Storm

Aaron Mazinga and his wife Lizzy live in the village of Mpambachuiu with their 2 children. After hearing about the many benefits villagers were seeing from their F2F victory gardens, i.e., saving money on buying food, providing a healthier diet for the family, selling surplus vegetables, and just giving an overall sense of food security, they decided to create their very first victory garden in 2017.

Back in March of 2019, Cyclones Idai and Kenneth displaced tens of thousands of families in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, leaving many in need of basic supplies like food and water. Unfortunately, these very same communities were hit again earlier this year when Tropical Cyclone Ana tore across southern Africa.

Aaron, Lizzy, and their two children in front of their home which was destroyed this past February during Cyclone Ana

Several parts of Africa haveĀ battled destructive floods over the past year as they deal with the twin issues of prolonged drought and an increase in the intensity of rainfall, which create prime flooding conditions. Sadly, Aaron and Lizzy were no exception and were faced with severe damage and loss after Cyclone Ana. Their house was destroyed in the storm and Aaron was injured. Lizzy and her two children had to move to a shelter for 3 months.

Aaron & Lizzy in their Victory Garden

Thanks to their victory garden they were able to harvest some of the longer-term crops which provided the family with food during their time in the shelter. Once the water finally receded Lizzy came back to her village with her children to start the process of re-building their home. She took steps to re-plant their victory garden so the family had an almost immediate source of nutritious food.

Since the floods came in March, Lizzy and Aaron have improved their garden. They have been able to save money and even invest in a small irrigation farming business. They dream of constructing a new house and know their victory garden will help them save the money they need to buy the necessary building materials. They have also taken part in F2F victory garden workshops, learning specific planting techniques like sack gardening, that will help them in the future as adverse weather events, from cyclones to droughts, continue to hit the African continent more frequently due to the effects of climate change.