Lorraine of Ward 11 in Shamva entered into a marriage at a young age.
At 21, she is already raising two children with her 24-year-old husband in the mining town in Mashonaland Central.
The couple struggles to make ends meet, as Lorraine is a full-time housewife who spends her days caring for their children aged three years old and 18 months, respectively.
Her husband is a pirate taxi driver, commonly known as Mshikashika and does not earn much.
Lorraine has been trying to find ways to supplement their family income without compromising on the care she has been giving to her children, who are still very young.
When she encountered the Higherlife Foundation teams enlisting people to become part of the Reimagine Rural Africa Pfumvudza training initiative, she immediately signed up.
Pfumvudza is a climate-smart agriculture approach that allows high productivity on a small plot of land.
Higherlife, through a technical partnership with Foundations for Farming (FfF), is training communities and providing inputs to promote adoption of the approach that enables families to gain food security at the household level and potentially increase household incomes.
“During the training, we were taught many things about Pfumvudza, including aligning the planting holes, preparing the land ahead of the season, and applying lime.
“Before the training, I was not interested in farming. I had never really done it before. I signed up out of curiosity but realised that this could help my family,” she said.
Pfumvudza has renewed Lorraine’s hope in life, as she now has the vision to continue growing in farming.
“For this season, I have already prepared the three plots for maize, sugar beans and groundnuts.
“I look forward to more years in farming. I want to become an example of how hard work can change people’s lives, especially young people.
“In the past, we used to buy all our food, but now we will not be buying maize. Buying food is stressful; the money you use should be directed to other projects, and that is what I intend to do,” Lorraine added.
Lorraine is not the only participant in the Pfumvudza initiative. Other young people also signed up.
They formed a group, where they have been sharing ideas and helping each other till land upholding the sense of community that dominates rural areas and small towns.
Some of the groups have members of up to 28 people.
Community leaders believe that interventions of this nature go a long way in alleviating food uncertainty, creating work opportunities and bringing peace of mind into households.
Ward 11 councillor Mr L Musona said that 334 households in Ward 11 have benefitted from the program under Higherlife Foundation.
“In addition to comprehensive training, families received maize seed, beans and groundnuts,” Compound D fertiliser, Compound L fertiliser and lime, said Councillor Musona.
Councillor Musona said people in the community were happy with this initiative and looked forward to a good harvest if they received sufficient rains.
With lack of employment being the major challenge in his constituency, Councillor Musona believes that young people now have another option to seek sustenance besides gold panning.
Delta Philanthropies and Higherlife Foundation have invested in the Reimagine Rural Africa social impact initiative meant to combat food insecurity, extreme poverty, and the problem of stunting in Zimbabwe by addressing substandard farming practices.
Farmers like Lorraine are set to benefit from the Pfumvudza programme, which leads to increased yields.
During the 2021/22 farming season, over 9,000 farmers received direct training and inputs, while a further 35,000 we reached through community knowledge transfer. Higherlife Foundation, with the support of Foundations for Farming and the agricultural extension officers, will continue to monitor and train the farmers throughout the season.