Facing hardship in Zimbabwe: Christian Aid Week appeal

Friday May 13th 2022

Jessica Mwedzi (36) with her husband Phanuel Rutsito (47) and four of their children. Jessica’s husband is unwell and she is the sole breadwinner for the family. Credit: David Brazier/Christian Aid.

Sunday May 15, marks the start of Christian Aid Week 2022 which will run until Saturday May 21.

The focus of Christian Aid Week in Ireland is Zimbabwe, Africa. Here we share Jessica’s story. At the end, you will see the difference your donations can make.

Climate change has brought drought, hunger and hardship to Zimbabwe, something married mother-of-six Jessica knows all too well.

“We have gone to bed on an empty stomach many times. My children crave a good meal, but I can’t provide. It is so painful to see your children in that situation,” Jessica says.

Jessica’s family are heavily dependent on growing crops to eat, as well as to sell to earn a living but drought has meant there has not been a good harvest in recent years.

“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,” says Jessica.

Jessica’s husband is unable to work because he is chronically ill and she is the sole breadwinner for their six children. She also looks after her father-in-law and brother-in-law who are both unable to work because of mental illness.

Once when things became desperate, Jessica asked her neighbours for food but she came home emptyhanded because they had nothing to share.

Like you, Jessica only wants to provide for her family. Can you be the kind neighbour she needs?

Jessica Mwedzi (36) battles drought in Zimbabwe. Her husband is unwell, so she is the sole breadwinner for her six children. Credit: David Brazier/Christian Aid .

Jessica knows what it’s like to be hungry. Hungry for food. Hungry to earn a decent living. Hungry to provide a more hopeful future for her family.

Your gift could help Jessica grow drought-resistant crops. You could help her set up water taps on her farm and learn how to grow food in the harsh climate. She’ll turn her dry, dusty land into a garden of hope.

In the months to come, your gift will help her turn seeds into fresh food like tomatoes, beans and cucumbers to sell and feed her family. And she’ll know she’s not alone because she’ll feel the warmth and kindness of a neighbour like you.

Jessica’s love for her family gives her courage to stand strong against the threat of drought. “My children give me the power to go ahead. I pray they have a better future.”

  • £5/€6 could buy water taps for a community garden
  • £30/€36 could buy drought-resistant seeds for 20 farmers like Jessica to grow food 
  • £60/€72 could train 50 women farmers to adapt and grow food in the changing climate
  • £200/€238 could provide materials so a farmer can build a storeroom and preserve food for their family
  • £330/€393 could buy an irrigation kit to water a family garden
  • £2,000/€2,381 could provide a drip irrigation kit to water a community garden

Your donations will help families facing poverty and injustice around the world.

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