Every Autumn, our social feeds fill up with pumpkin picking on picturesque farms and falling autumn leaves. In Malawi, Patrick Kuyokwa is often visiting local farms, but not for that same perfect capture…
Our Agriculture and Forestry Co-ordinator, Patrick works with communities to improve their farming. Having grown up in northern Malawi, Patrick understands the challenges and struggles faced by families who live there. 90% of which are subsistence farmers who depend on the land for their survival.
The communities are vulnerable to extreme weather, like floods and droughts, making it hard to grow crops throughout the year. Cutting down forests to sell the wood has increased flooding and has damaged the soil. Moreover, the villages are far from the markets, which stops the farmers earning money.
This is why Patrick (below) joined Temwa in 2017. Driven by a passion for community development, he says “I wanted to contribute to the change of people’s livelihoods”.
Patrick uses his expertise and determination to see change to oversee the Agriculture and Forestry Project. His role involves working closely with the community to run farmer trainings and coordinate events with local decision-makers. He makes regular visits to follow-up on progress and provide help where needed. Back in the office, Patrick reports on the progress of the project, capturing key lessons and plans new activities.
For Patrick, development must focus on making communities self-sufficient.
This goal is what he likes most about working for Temwa and loves being part of a team who are all focused on the same goal. He sees the importance of working with communities to ensure that impact continues beyond a project. Even more so, he loves the knowledge he gains by working directly with them on new solutions.
For the communities to overcome the challenges they face, Patrick believes in using a holistic approach. Transformation is most likely to occur when you address many issues at the same time.
In Agriculture and Forestry, Patrick has seen the resilience of farmers increase using this approach. Temwa’s project provides farmers with better tools to adapt to environmental changes. For example, the farmers learn not to use one method but now have different options for growing crops on their farms. This means that they improve their families’ nutrition, are more resilient to weather changes, and increase their income. While training farmers, the team works with the community to protect the land and plant more trees. In doing so, the project helps communities to stop some of the causes and the effects of climate change in the area.
We want to thank Patrick for all his hard work! You too can be part of transforming the lives of remote communities, join our family of supporters today.