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Lovely Lyn

Life was hard for Lyn Himaanga.  At the age of 4 she suffered from “a stroke” (possibly polio).  The whole of her left side was affected, and she could only move with the help of crutches.

And in 2012 she was the single mother of two lively boys aged 2 and 6.  The family barely survived by farming their small plot of land – peanuts, chickens and so on.  There was no money for anything.

And then Health Help Zambia, our sister charity in Zambia, came to the rescue with a month’s training in the use of a knitting machine.  Accommodation was provided nearby.  She showed herself to be adept at using the machine, so she was given a knitting machine of her own and a large bag of wool from one of the containers that we sent out.

Lyn with her knitting machine
Lyn with her knitting machine

She turned the wool into school pullovers.  With the profits she was able to feed her extended family – she bought maize (corn), milly meal (cornflour, a Zambian staple), peanuts and chicken.

Ten years on, the sewing machine is still working well.  Occasionally it needs repairs that Lyn cannot do herself, in which case Primelda travels out and resolves the problem.  Lyn continues to knit school pullovers, for which there is a good demand, and from which she is able to earn £10 to £20 a day – not a huge amount, but a good income by Zambian standards.  The family  is now well fed, and there is money to send her children – now three boys, aged 8, 12 and 16 – to school.  Her income supports not just her and her children but also her elderly parents.

Challenges remain.  Her eldest son would like to go to college for teacher training, but funding this will be difficult.  The nearest well is two hundred yards away, but in the dry season this runs dry and they have to travel 5km each way to find water – could we provide them with a borehole, they wonder?

Jute discussing the future with Lyn
Jute discussing the future with Lyn

But, despite the challenges, this is a story of a life transformed because of your generosity to provide a tutor for a month, and someone gave their knitting machine to us – ten years ago.

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