Sikenala Kumbani Excels at SAFI
1/7/15 3:08 PM
Sikenala Kumbani was in his infancy when he contracted Polio, a highly contagious viral infection that can lead to paralysis, breathing problems and even death. The virus may have left him with the inability to walk, but it did not disable his strong desire to be the best farmer in his community. Sikenala has coped with paralysis from the waist down his entire life and taught himself how to craft makeshift wheelchairs from various bicycle parts to stay mobile. His ingenuity and unrelenting will to be independent also motivated him to participate in the School of Agriculture for Family Independence (SAFI).
Sikenala and his wife, Felesiya, are the parents of two young children (one is not pictured). They left their home in the traditional authority of Masumbankhunda in the Lilongwe District to learn modern techniques in farming at SAFI to improve their livelihood. Their goal is to improve their food security, health and well-being by turning their 2.5 acre farm into a lucrative business. From reports by the SAFI director, the couple will achieve their goal as they have both been praised as fast learners. In fact, Sikenala is ranked at the top of his class in his cohort.
Upon graduation from SAFI, the family plans to increase their crop and livestock production, have a fish pond, as well as a big garden where they intend to practice irrigation. The Kumbanis want their children to receive an education and believe their SAFI training will give them the necessary skills to make that goal a reality beyond tertiary school and onto the university level. They extend their gratitude to their sponsors for their generosity and encourage more donors to sponsor Malawian families at SAFI. ■