Razanamalala Eliane (mother, age 32) shows me around the family's compound.
In 2013, Cyclone Haruna raced through the Mozambique Channel and made landfall at Tulear, bringing with it heavy rains that washed away homes and destroyed crops. Villagers like Razanamalala Eliane (age 32) and mother of five, woke to find that not only had she lost months of hard work, she had also lost all her seed stocks, and with them, her ability to begin again. Today, thanks to CRS’s DiNER FAARM Program financed by USAID/OFDA, Razanamalala Eliane is once again planting and reaping valuable crops in her fields. With the vouchers she received from the program, Razanamalala was able to purchase new seed stocks of maize, a crop that serves multiple purposes in her household. The maize is harvested and dried on the roof of her home. The seeds are then stripped from the cob and pounded into cornmeal. Her children separate the meal from the husks, with the latter used as feed for her three egg-laying hens. The stalks of the plant are also dried and used as feed for the family’s oxen. No part of the maize goes to waste in Razanamalala’s household. I visited with Razanamalala and her five children one morning recently. Their close connection as a family and good humor was evident from the start. All of the children are well fed and healthy, and attending school. Razanamalala was given a chance to start over, and she has taken full advantage of it.