Tingathe Training Program’s Impact on Patrick Wilijoni

“Maintaining singular focus is important when pursuing a dream, as it proved instrumental in achieving my goal of becoming a commercial farmer. The Tingathe Training Program equipped me with valuable insights, including ‘Leopard’s Secret,’ which emphasized the importance of commitment. Like the leopard, I learned to patiently plan and move towards my goals, never relenting or giving up. Upon completing the Tingathe Training Program, I developed a plan that has inspired, motivated and allowed me to channel my passion for farming into a reliable source of income for my family and a source of inspiration for others.”

This is Patrick Wilijoni, a beneficiary of the Tingathe Training Program. He shared his story with us during our visit to his home in Dowa district. As a Peri-urban Horticulture graduate, Patrick made the decision to relocate from Lilongwe to his home village in Dowa district. Here, he established a farm to contribute to the development of his community, applying the skills acquired from the Tingathe Training Program. Patrick practices irrigation farming, cultivating maize, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cassava, and sugarcane.

Through this farming, Patrick provides for himself and his family and also serves as a valuable resource for his community. Sharing his knowledge, he educates fellow farmers on essential skills such as compost manure production, a technique he learned at Tingathe. This has reduced dependence on expensive synthetic fertilizers and has also empowered the community to be self-sufficient in this aspect.

Reflecting on his transformation, Patrick encourages fellow young people to seize opportunities provided by organizations like Tingathe to change their lives and communities. He highlights the immediate returns of the skills acquired through programs like the Tingathe Training Program, which break the cycle of hopelessness and poverty.

“Financial literacy, leadership, and entrepreneurship skills gained at Tingathe have been instrumental for me. These skills enable me to effectively manage my finances, lead the youth in my community, and operate my farming as a business. Patrick’s story demonstrates that, through initiatives like the Tingathe Training Program, young people can transform their lives and make significant contributions to their communities.

As Tingathe, our joy lies in witnessing individuals like Patrick bring about positive change in their communities. Our mission remains steadfast: to nurture change-makers who can uplift themselves, their communities, and the nation at large.

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