RWA Malawi: Reflections from The Feminist School – Boane Visit by Thoko Mbewe

Some moments you experience while travelling end up completely blowing you away, in ways you would never have expected. They stay with you forever, and days later you smile at the fond memories. Stepping into the land of Mozambique, Boane, is like entering a realm where resilience and hope thrive amidst challenges. The experience of visiting rural women is heart-warming, offering a profound insight into the different lives of people.

Boane is a district of Maputo province in southern Mozambique. I learnt a lot in Boane, especially how rural women live and how farming takes place. The major food crops produced in Mozambique include beans, Irish potatoes, tomatoes, bananas. These crops are most of the crops that withstand different weather and are cash crops. Many women like growing these crops because they provide them with money for different purposes. Boane is a place where we visited during the 7th Feminist School that took place in Mozambique. The other place we visited is South Africa.

I also learnt about the preservation of natural resources. With agroecology, farmers can use fewer chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which can have a big negative effect on the ecosystem. Malawi government has been subsidising farm inputs such as fertilisers. It targets poor people in the rural areas, but the beneficiaries are not the poor but the rich. With agroecology, poor women in the rural areas benefit much since no or little chemicals are used throughout the growing season. Increased crop produce. Agricultural areas are fewer for each farmer in Malawi. As a farming method, it uses fewer resources but gives local communities a higher harvest. Less or no technical know-how. This method uses locally available resources and labour. Agroecology can be tailored to almost any terrain and manipulate indigenous species that would otherwise not flourish.

Apart from places I visited, I also enjoyed food, lessons and structures. I have learnt how to use limited resources like land to have a maximum return from it, how to deal with violence and how to take care of my body. The lessons helped me to have strong knowledge of myself (self-awareness) in Power Building Skills so that I can rely on my own in making decisions in different fields (Men should not have power over women-Patriarchal power avoidance).

Leave a Reply