The Gift of a Broken Tradition
Kaswera was trained with skills and knowledge to be food secure year-round
Kaswera looked around the land she was so familiar with, the land she had spent decades on with her husband.
They raised eight children here together, and more recently, four beautiful grandchildren. When he died, Kaswera became very aware that the land was not hers.
According to cultural traditions in the DRC, the land belonged to her husband, and when he died it was set to be returned to his family. Kaswera did not have any money or social networks in the area to support her if the land was taken back.
“The week after my husband’s funeral I was so stressed over what would happen to me and my children that I barely had time to mourn,” Kaswera said.
Kaswera slept restlessly the night before the land was to be taken away. She awoke with the sun and sat beside the small house while she waited to lose everything. When she saw the silhouettes of her husband’s family walking in the distance she hugged her youngest grandchild closely trying to comfort herself. But then an act of amazing generosity.
His family greeted Kaswera with smiles and said they would like to give her a gift, the land, and the house was hers. “I fell to my knees and wept with joy and promised to steward the land well.” Kaswera continued, “This was a gift beyond my expectations!”
With great determination, she attempted farming in the way her husband had done before, yet the harvest was just not enough. Defeat began to settle in again until the local church and Tearfund’s partner, recognized Kaswera’s situation and offered to give her agriculture training.
“I was at a point where I was willing to try anything. My husband’s family had given me a great gift and I did not want to waste it.”
Kaswera was trained with skills and knowledge to be food secure year-round. Including food diversity in her crops, she is now growing cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, leeks, and Irish potatoes. The new crops give her a steady income and her local church has given her the confidence to reach her God-given potential. She told us that “Tearfund taught me to be innovative and experiment with my crops. My Irish potatoes are unique to my harvest and have become a wonderful cash crop!”