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Empowering And Enriching

Players of People's Postcode Lottery have provided over £2.4 Million for British Red Cross - supporting people in crisis around the world
Broadcaster, farmer and ex-JLS member JB Gill travelled to Zimbabwe to see the lifesaving support farmers have received

Earlier this year broadcaster, farmer and ex-JLS member JB Gill travelled from his farm in Kent to rural Zimbabwe to see the lifesaving work supporting farmers living at the forefront of climate change.

With few economic opportunities 90% of communities in Mwenezi District in the south of Zimbabwe rely on rain to water the crops that feed themselves and their families. The impact of extreme weather is devastating, with the last major drought leaving over 4.1 million people across the region without access to food.

But the vital work that British Red Cross is doing with the support from our players is empowering people and changing lives.

Supporting People In Crisis

Single mother Tarisai Mubhoyi, who lost her husband to AIDS ten years ago, strives alone to feed her five children - despite being HIV positive and having a bad leg.  

Farming training from British Red Cross has supported her to install a keyhole garden beside her home, elevated so she doesn't have to bend down. She said that it means she can now grow extra vegetables by using water from washing that she would otherwise throw away. 

Okra, tomatoes and spinach all supplement an otherwise basic diet of 'sazda', a staple made from maize and lacking in vital nutrients.

JB met Tarisai, her children and other farmers being supported by the charity in Mwenezi. He said, "All around the world, farmers are beholden to the elements. Last year in the UK we had snow in April and many farmers were struggling to keep some of their newborn livestock alive.

"In the UK, if you happen to lose a crop or some of your livestock, perhaps you've lost your profit for the year. In Zimbabwe, if you lose a crop, you have pretty much lost your ability to put food on the table for your family.

"The difference is stunning. But by being more hands-on and using new farming techniques on the ground, we can remain hopeful that those most exposed to the elements and most at risk from the effects of climate change, will still be able to survive."

Tarisai is determined. Her priority is that her children have enough to eat so they can concentrate at school. "I think my kids have just enough passion to make it. If they're passionate they can do anything they want".

Published: 06/05/2019

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