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From the Field5 min read


How a lemon tree is bringing hope to women in Zambia


Today is International Women’s Day. And with all the issues facing our world today, you might be wondering why should we single out the issues facing women? Why should we care?

Well, for one thing we worship a Savior who went out of His way to associate with women, even those who were scorned by society. He talked to women directly in public over and over again at a time when this was not culturally acceptable. Jesus valued women.

But I also think there is another reason why we should care. You see, if Jesus doesn’t convince you, then let the data do its work. Humanitarian programs geared toward helping women have been proven again and again to be one of the best ways to effect change.

A World Bank study found that every year of secondary school education is correlated with an 18 percent increase in a girl’s future earning power because educating girls has a multiplier effect. Educated women tend to be healthier, participate more in the formal labor market, earn more, give birth to fewer children, marry at a later age, and provide better health care and education to their children.

When you change the life of a girl, a young woman, a mother, a wife, you change the family, the village, the community, the nation and yes … you even change the world.

I witnessed this firsthand when I got the chance to visit Zambia in the summer of 2021. There, I met a beautiful woman named Malika.

Celebrate International Women's Day by giving today
When you give, you provide hope for families like Malika’s

Malika is part of a women’s co-op group that gardens together and uses their harvests to support their community. Directly across the street from Malika’s home is a community empowerment center run by World Help’s partners. Here Malika, as well as her husband, had learned about growing crops, raising rabbits for income, setting up irrigation systems, and even using solar power.

As Malika showed me around their property and the improvements they had been able to make because of the center, the pride in her voice was crystal clear. “As women, we have been empowered to utilize the land,” she said.

Honestly, at first glance, their modest home didn’t seem like much. But to Malika, it was if they lived in a mansion or a castle. I soon discovered that the rest of the community looks to Malika and her family as an example of what is possible.

Right before we left for the day, Malika, walked up to me with a simple little plant in her hand. She wanted me to plant it beside the empowerment center in honor of our visit.

It was a lemon tree.

As I planted it, I knew it would grow to produce beautiful fruit one day. But its significance grew when I later read that a lemon tree was considered a sign of hope by the early Christians.

Celebrate International Women's Day by giving today
Your generosity empowers women to build gardens for food and income

That day, I realized that it’s not really about handouts or food or clean water — it’s about hope and how our lives change when we have it and how they are destroyed without it. 

Just like a lemon tree, hope is a living, vibrant thing that needs to be shared. And it’s shared most when people receive the tools they need to build a thriving, sustainable life for themselves.

This International Women’s Day, will you join me in empowering more women and families like Malika’s?

Your gift today will provide life-changing resources like vocational training, education, God’s Word, and more. Plus, you’ll meet other urgent needs all around the globe.

And the best part? When you give by March 31, your donation will double, thanks to a $150,000 matching gift! That means you can help twice as many people in need.

I look forward to the day when I’ll be able to return to Zambia and see how much that lemon tree has grown.

But more than that, I look forward to hearing the beautiful stories of the lives that have been changed just a stone’s throw away in the empowerment center because of generous people like you.

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