Smiles come more easily for 14-year-old Elless these days. Shown with her maize crop, she is beginning to see the fruits of her labor on her own land. She no longer has to experience exploitation from the farmers who would pay her for a day’s work with a little food and nothing else.

When ZOE came to her village in Malawi, she was ecstatic to accept ZOE’s invitation to learn to grow her own food and become self-sufficient. With other members of her working group, she chose what to plant, and ZOE provided seeds and fertilizer. Elless and her working group then planted and tended their crops. When she harvests the maize, she can sell the produce to support herself and her younger sister.

Elless has been on her own most of her life.  Her mother died when she was an infant and she knows nothing of her father. Although she has a home with an elderly relative, she and her sister struggled to survive for years.

ZOE has helped her become healthy by teaching her to prepare nutritious food, eat a balanced diet, use a mosquito net and build racks to dry their dishes. With ZOE’s help, Elless and her sister are now attending school. They have ZOE working group friends who support them when they face challenges and celebrate with them when hard work pays off. From orphan and outcast to farmer and student, Elless now thanks God for the bright future that lays ahead of her.