Leah Mshani lives in Chitipa, a district in northern Malawi, with her husband and their three children.
A year ago, Leah and her nearby neighbors each spent around 35 hours per week—the equivalent of a full-time job in the U.S.—collecting water for their families.
When friends invited her to join “Light” savings group through their church (a HOPE partner), Leah started saving 500 kwacha (roughly 67¢ USD) at each group meeting.
As she paid her shares, she took out several loans from the group: to start a sewing business, make home improvements, purchase livestock, support her husband in starting a taxi business, and teach other women how to sew to earn income.
With her seventh loan, Leah paid for the labor to drill a water well next to her home. Today, the well supplies clean water to Leah’s family, as well as 22 other households—roughly 110 people—who no longer have to spend hours each day away from home. Leah’s generosity is meeting practical needs and giving the gift of time back to her community, inspiring others to see what other changes are possible.
She says, “I want to be a role model. The mindset of this community will change, then everything will change.”
Special thanks to Austin Taylor and our friends at Life.Church for sharing Leah’s story and these beautiful photos with us!