Softly-spoken Esther Saizi, 54, radiates joy and warmth.
A fair price - at least
For 10 years, Esther grew pigeon peas on her farm, but she could never secure a fair price for her crop.
She was robbed in 2021 when Cyclone Ana washed away her crops, leaving her feeling desperate. But when Esther joined a pigeon pea programme run by our local partner - Nandolo Farmers Association - and started selling as part of a cooperative, she was able to earn much more.
‘I was able to sell the pigeon peas at a better price with a better market,’ she explains. ‘It provided financial stability.’
The power of love, loss and legacy
A doting mother and grandmother, Esther adds that growing pigeon peas also helped her through the loss of her husband.
‘It is food that makes a meal for the whole day.’
And not just for the day, but for the future. With the money she's making, Esther has been able to feed her family and support her two daughters, Ziwone and Rashida. She's been able to:
- buy tools for Ziwone's carpentry business
- pay for Rashida’s school costs, the lodgings near her school, and a part-time tutor
- acquire a herd of 13 goats, who provide manure for her crops, saving on expensive fertiliser
- store her pigeon peas in a warehouse, safe from floods and storms
- buy a sewing machine
Through the cooperative and its equipment, Esther can bake pigeon pea flour bread and boost her income - and also make fish food, using a special machine provided by us.
How changes like this became possible
Thanks to people like you, this change has been possible for Esther and her community.
Esther's dream is to see Rashida graduate from college and become a nurse, and to send her two grandsons to nursery.
With your gift this Christian Aid Week, you could help more families like Esther's have a brighter future. More farmers could secure a fair price for their crops, and more loving parents like her could make their children’s dreams come true.