Super farmer, super dad

Oct 19, 2016
Mackswin, 45, is many things. He's a husband and a father, a fisherman and a farmer. He's a hygiene promoter and the first "caregiver"  in his community.

As the father of five kids" all of whom are sponsored" he seems to never stop.

Even though Mackswin couldn't be busier, he loves his role as a caregiver. Nearly 15 years ago he took a course with the Red Cross to learn how to care for people with HIV and AIDS. A few years later he took a World Vision workshop, and received a bicycle to use when he makes his rounds. Every Monday and Friday, he visits seven people.

"This is my passion," Mackswin says. "Some people I care for are from my family. Some are from my community. Sometimes they are neglected. Some are rejected by their families."

He remembers Richard, the second person he started caring for. When Richard first fell sick, Mackswin encouraged him to get tested. Richard resisted, but another talk from Mackswin changed his mind. He started taking antiretroviral therapy. "When he took drugs, there was peace for him," says Mackswin. "Richard became a caregiver himself. Now he works at the hospital."

When his clients can't feed themselves, Mackswin brings them produce from his farm, which is thriving thanks to a well installed by World Vision. The well feeds a system powered by solar panels. The system serves 103 farmers.

"We used to water with buckets," says Mackswin. But with more water pressure and volume, Mackswin can grow much more. "Now we grow tomatoes, cabbage and corn. Now we grow more crops with less work."

With his earnings, Mackswin bought a fishing boat. A loan from World Vision helped him purchase a refrigerator to keep the fish cold. He also bought two cows to plow the field and provide milk.

"I want a better life for my children," he says. "I want all of my children to be educated. There are a lot of needs in my family. With more money, I can make more plans."

Even so, he's proud of his current life.

"I have a better life than people in Lusaka," he boasts. "I eat free."

He doesn't spend a dime on food. It's something not many people can claim.

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