Mr. Over Mutika aged 22 has been a volunteer with RN before under the Village Education Program and also a volunteer teacher at Lonkwe Community school a school supported by Academic Work. He recently moved to another school, the government, called Musebela where he has continued with his voluntary teaching.
In 2021, Over was sponsored by RN to study Agriculture at Zimba Centre for Youth and Rural Development. Like every other farmer in the village, Over has over the years been growing maize, ground nuts, sunflower, etc for home consumption. Sometimes the yield would not be good depending on the rain pattern but because the family needed to have maize for nshima, he just had to do it every year. He was doing this as per tradition i.e without paying attention to modern ways of doing things. So after the training, he learned of other crops that would also make him make money, and among them was growing vegetables such as tomatoes and cabbages. The right types of fertilizers to use i.e. organic and chemicals.
From this knowledge, he decided on growing tomatoes. He prepared the land according to how he was taught and applied all the knowledge he acquired from the school. “I am finally happy with the yield because of the knowledge I gained from the school. I am the envy of the community because my gardens are doing fine. I have sold boxes and boxes of tomatoes within the village and the nearest town of Kalomo. I had challenges with how to earn money but for now, things are right for me and my family”. These were his sentiments when asked how he felt about his achievements.
When asked about the impact this training had on his family, he said “My family has benefitted a lot from this training. The lifestyle at home has improved in that I am now able to provide most of the food requirements after selling the tomatoes. I was also able to buy sofas which I didn’t have before this. I also bought an MTN solar panel for lights which have also benefitted the nearby homesteads as they come to charge their phones. As a family, we are also able to charge phones unlike before when we had to go to faraway neighbors for this service. At night, visibility is also good as there are lights both outside and inside the house.”