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Priscilla inspects her drought-affected fields of millet next to her home in north-western Zimbabwe (Caritas Australia/ Richard Wainwright)

Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion campaign introduces us this week to Priscilla from Zimbabwe, who is using her conservation farming skills to grow drought-resistant crops and farm poultry to support her family during the current food crisis. 

Priscilla lives with her husband and two grandchildren in the Hwange region in north-western Zimbabwe.

Climate change continues to bring unprecedented challenges for people living in the most vulnerable and remote communities in Zimbabwe. 

Last year, an intense dry spell meant that many families were unable to produce sufficient crops, with many at risk of extreme hunger. More than half of Zimbabwe’s population, 7.9 million people, live in extreme poverty. 

With the support of Caritas Australia’s partner, Caritas Hwange, Priscilla and her community learnt conservation farming to grow drought-resistant crops. 

With her new-found knowledge, Priscilla helped train and support other farmers in her community to learn techniques to produce better yields. 

Her increased harvest from conservation farming allowed Priscilla to sell her crops and start poultry farming, selling eggs to grow her income stream and pay for her grandchildren’s education. Caritas Hwange also helped rehabilitate the dip tank in her community so that Priscilla’s cattle can be healthy and free from tick-borne diseases. Priscilla now has the skills she needs to diversify her income and support her family during the current drought.

 The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the many crises that have struck the world over the past 12 months mean that many communities are in great need of support. Project Compassion is one way Catholics can support these communities this Lent. 

For details or to donate to Project Compassion, visit Caritas Australia’s website.


Project Compassion Week 3 (Caritas Australia)