Katherine will always remember the powerful flood waters that rushed up to her knees and penetrated the walls of her home.

Six months ago, Cyclone Idai unleashed torrential rain and winds that led to devastating flooding across Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Katherine was one of 840,000 Malawians stuck in the storm.

Katherine Chiphwanya and her two children. Credit: Canadian Foodgrains Bank

The devastating deluge ruined more than Katherine’s home—it battered her plot of farmland and washed away most of the maize she’d grown. Without maize to sell, the single mother began looking for other work so that she could meet the needs of her nine-year-old daughter and four-year-old son.

“I’m the head of the household,” says Katherine. “I’m responsible for making sure everyone can eat.”

Eventually, Katherine earned some money by tilling her neighbour’s one-acre field. It was the only piecework she could find.

Ever since Idai, Katherine has had a new set of challenges to cope with. Her biggest concern was getting food for her children.

“We’d only eat during the times I found work,” Katherine laments. “If not, we went to bed hungry.”

Food for Strength

Because of generous contributions towards Cyclone Idai relief efforts, Katherine doesn’t have to worry about what she’ll do for food when she can’t find work.

Along with 10,000 others living in hard-hit regions of Malawi, Katherine has received packages of flour, beans and cooking oil through a PWS&D-supported project with Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

As well as life-saving nourishment, the food has given Katherine strength and courage to adjust to her life turned upside down by Idai.

Katherine is now looking to the future with optimism. In recent months, she has been able to find more work irrigating the fields of other farmers in her community. With the money she earns, she buys fish, eggplant and tomatoes to feed her children alongside the porridge she makes using flour provided by the project.

“The kids are very happy to eat the food,” smiles Katherine.

*This project receives support from Canadian Foodgrains Bank. PWS&D is a member of Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger. This project was undertaken with funds raised through the Humanitarian Coalition’s Cyclone Idai appeal and with support from the Government of Canada.

Banner photo: Canadian Foodgrains Bank