THE FACE OF PRIDE
Delight on the face of someone who has received a wonderful gift is infectious – we smile as we witness it.
Rapturous pride from the face of someone who has achieved beyond their expectations – does not elicit our smiles, but attentive awe.
I stood in awe as a proud and animated woman told us of a great achievement in Bwalo village.
Bwalo is a one of 15 villages in THP Majete 5 Epicentre catchment area. Bwalo had no access to clean and safe drinking water before 2018.
A scattering of mud brick houses, with thatched roofs, all worse for the wear of severe tropical storms in Malawi, which have devastated the region recently. It stands at a little distance from a silt heavy river, which – though it carries pollutants and potential disease, has been the villagers’ most constant source of water for generations.
Last year a borehole had been drilled in the village, not as a gift, or aid from The Hunger Project, but because the villagers had identified the need, committed themselves and taken the actions required to have the bore hole drilled.
They have put aside gender and status differences to become the movers and shapers of their futures, selecting and directing the project, rather than accepting with resignation whatever is proffered.
The woman picture is a THP trained ‘animator’, one of the many, who are organising and maintaining not just the new equipment, but the more subtle changes in attitude and abilities that are growing in her village and her district.
Animator she is, and animated she was – this is what pride in self, in community and in achievement looks like.
From a culture where woman were viewed as objects of possession rather than partners in action, this woman and many others like her, have now stood up, shoulder to shoulder with their men, to do the work of defeating hunger and poverty in her region. She was proud, magnanimous, articulate and joyful – a leader we would all love in any community around the globe.
Story and photo credit: Lesley McLennan
Lesley McLennan is a long-standing, Global Investor in The Hunger Project. She joined the Awaken participants who travelled to Malawi in March 2019 to witness the transformation of our partners from aid dependant to self-reliant.