In January 2015, terrible floods struck Malawi. But in Chikwawa, one of the
worst affected districts, people's crops, homes and even lives were saved
because of the work Eagles has done.
In Nedi village, a flood drain dug by hand by the community in 2005
prevented their houses being washed away in the floods ten years later. In
2003, Chikalumpha villagers planted a wood lot, deepened the river and grew
elephant grass to keep the soil in place. Thanks to their efforts, their
fields were protected. Villagers said:
"You see all these crops-they have been saved because the water followed its
course. The things that you taught us really work."
In 2012 Lezinati, a single mother with five children, joined an Eagles
Savings group. She saved enough for fertiliser and other needs. She took
out loans for school fees, to buy livestock and pay for a camera for her
oldest child, Jevitala. Whilst at school, he set up a small photography
business and contributed to the family income. Now in his twenties,
Jevitala has used his earnings to open a tearoom in his village and has
plans for a bakery. He earns far more than the average local wage. As
"I was pitiful: I had nothing. I still have some problems like everybody,
but I can't compare my life now with the way I was before Eagles helped us
start this group."
After training from Eagles, church leaders in Mthumba, Malawi's poorest
district, set up a lobbying group to fight for justice. They helped farmers
stop an unscrupulous international sugar company forcing them to grow sugar
instead of food crops. The farmers said: "If it were not for this group, we
would have lost our fields."
Since then, the group has negotiated a better price for cotton and persuaded
local government to provide promised financial support for orphans as well
as help for farmers. Now other villages are following their example.