The Power to Change
By Francelina Chadamoio, Jorge Bossumane, Jeremias Marques and Althea Skinner
“Until recently, I was always in trouble at home,” explains Albino Chame from northern Mozambique. “My wife considered me a lazy man who couldn’t earn enough money to provide for his family. Even when I earned money from farming, I always spent it on alcohol. I couldn’t seem to save.”
The father of three girls and three boys, Albino began to turn things around in 2011. That year, the CARE-WWF Alliance initiated a Farmer Field School and Village Savings and Loan Association in his community of Saua-Saua to give villagers tools for producing a greater quantity of nutritious food and for saving money. Albino and his wife joined both groups.
Using conservation agriculture practices, they produced and sold enough cassava and peanuts to buy zinc to cover their roof, a mattress for a good night’s sleep, and a table and chairs to eat their meals with dignity. Using money they saved, they purchased two cows and two goats, and started a business of distilling and selling alcohol to earn additional income.
“I no longer drink alcohol and my life has improved a lot. I am very proud that my family and I have worked our way out of poverty. Today, we don’t want for food,” Albino beams.
Over the last three years, he has taken on a series of leadership positions in the savings group.
“I encourage everyone in my community to participate in savings groups to address their critical situation. At the end of the day, earning and saving money only depends on the sound functioning of our heads and our hands.”