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Jessica Mwedzi, right, walks through a field and carries a sack of maize on her head

Jessica Mwedzi carries maize grain on her head to the hammer mill - Christian Aid / David Brazier

Jessica's story

Hope is in the eyes of Jessica in rural Zimbabwe.

Jessica Mwedzi smiles with love for her children as she stirs a single bowl of porridge for them...

...But she knows they’re hungry for more. This one bowl of porridge is all she and her family can eat today: ‘My children crave a decent meal, but I can’t provide. We often go to bed on an empty stomach. It pains me to send them to bed hungry.’

Women are at the mercy of climate change and hunger.

- Jessica.

Jessica (right) poses outside her house with 3 of her children

Jessica (right) poses outside her house with 3 of her children - Christian Aid / David Brazier

'So painful and disheartening'

For Jessica, drought means every day is a struggle for survival.

Like many women in rural Zimbabwe - 7 out of 10 rely on farming for income and food - she toils on her farm, but nothing can grow on her ashen, dry land.

Drought starves. Intensified by the climate crisis, and the effects of war in Ukraine on global food production, it drives families into hunger.

Jessica recalls that ‘One year, we had no rain. The scorching sun burnt my crops just as they were about to bloom. It was so painful and disheartening.’

You can help this loving mum turn hunger into hope

It’s unjust that drought - exacerbated by the effects of conflict and the global pandemic - robs Jessica of the power to provide for her family. Her husband is unwell, so she's the only breadwinner. Her children look up to her, but she has nothing left to give.

Once before, when things were desperate, Jessica asked her neighbours for food but she came home with nothing.

Jessica is anything but helpless. In the face of drought, her love for her family gives her courage to stand strong - and we stand with Jessica.

Love is Janet's superpower - read her story

Love and hope give Janet the strength and courage to keep going, even in the hardest times. Read her story - and hear it in her own words.

My children give me the power to go ahead… I pray they have a better future.

- Jessica.

A ray of hope

As the golden sun fades across the sky, Jessica watches her much-loved sons and daughters sing, dance and play outside. Can you imagine how it feels for her to know her children are hungry, but have nothing left to give?

She finds a ray of hope that she will overcome this tough time - and be able to provide her children with good food, and a full life, free from hunger.

Could you give today, and help this loving mum provide food and hope for her family?

A black woman (left, with baby on her back), is shown walking at sunset with her three other children walking ahead

Jessica Mwedzi (left, with baby on her back), is shown walking at sunset with her three other chi...Christian Aid / David Brazier

How your gift could help

Jessica could grow drought-resistant crops, set up water taps on her farm, learn how to grow food in the harsh climate.

Her dry, dusty land could transform into a garden of hope, abundant with fresh food like tomatoes, beans and cucumbers.

She'll be proud of the fruits of her work, and she'll see her children enjoy their first full meal in months.

With your gift this Christian Aid Week, families like Jessica's won't go to bed hungry tonight.

Hope does not disappoint. Hope lives in you.

Your Christian Aid Week gift

Your gift could help women like Jessica buy seeds and equipment to provide food - and hope - for their families.