“Educate one woman, and you educate her entire community”
Meet Fyness Ngwira, a wife, mother, loving friend and inspiring community leader. Fyness is a women who causes beauty and life to spring up around her everywhere she goes; a women deeply invested in the lives of her fellow community members.
Fyness lives in Chinsapo, a settlement on the outskirts of Lilongwe, Malawi. Chinsapo is a welcoming and warm-hearted community full of bright and vibrant people- though they are no strangers to poverty.
Fyness grew up far outside of the city, in a small rural village. As a child, she remembers working long hours in the field under the hot sun to help her family make ends meet. Typically, her and her family could afford to eat only one simple meal a day. However, unlike many kids her age, Fyness was able to go to school, which empowered her to break out of the cycle of poverty as an adult. In her community today she is one of the few women given this opportunity.
In 2015 a few women from the neighbourhood asked her if she would teach them how to read. Understanding first hand the power the ability to read gives women, Fyness eagerly agreed and began meeting weekly to empower her new friends. As word spread, more and more women asked to join the program, until it became too large for Fyness to handle on her own. In just two years the school grew from 3 friends, to over 100 eager learners (and it gets larger all the time). These students meet in small groups across the community and are taught by the ten volunteer teachers that Fyness has trained herself. She also provides each student with a curriculum book, pens and paper. When word got around that a group of women were flourishing under Fyness’ guidance, the local school graciously opened its doors, giving the women classrooms to meet in weekly.
Learning to read has opened up a whole new world for Fyness’ students. Women have more work opportunities, more say in household decisions and now take even more seriously the need for their children to be educated. On a recent trip to Malawi, Acacia staff were able to meet many of Fyness’ beautiful students. There is no doubt about the success of Fyness’ work; her students are doing things they only dreamed of doing a few short years ago. They are confident, empowered and united in a tight knit community of encouragement and support.
When you meet Fyness, you will find yourself catching her infectious joy. She has a bright and genuine smile that overflows from a deeply beautiful heart. If you walk around Chinsapo with her, you will be stopping every 30 seconds so she can greet her neighbours, inquire about their lives and offer her support. She is a friend and gift to all.
Fyness is proud of the tremendous growth that has occurred in her program in such a short time, and she has no plans of slowing down. She is currently getting trained in the tailoring trade so she can take her newfound knowledge and train her students in this practical skill- empowering them to become entrepreneurs.
Fyness will proudly tell you that when you empower a women, you empower her entire community.
We believe that she is living proof.