There are many extraordinary people at Tikondane – our project in eastern Zambia. We love to introduce some of these folk to our supporters and this week it’s the amazing Tisauke. We hope you enjoy getting to know Tisauke as much as we have…

Tisauke is one of the strong, versatile, local women who help to keep Tikondane running smoothly in a variety of ways. Her main job is to look after the guest rooms with her team, however the team also look after general areas such as the conference hall for meetings and the Guernsey Great Hall for weddings and other functions. Tisauke also helps out in the kitchen and is a valued member of the Tikondane choir, as well as helping her neighbours – like a professional community worker.

Tisauke is the second child in a family of five. Before she was born one brother died, so her name means ‘let’s not suffer’– her smile and laughter are infectious. After fathering five children her father left. Her mother had no support for the family, so in grade 2 Tisauke had to leave school. She married at 16 and like her mother also has five children. Tisauke is not an intern, as interns have to have finished school, but she is a pillar of Tikondane.

Tisauke started to work at Tikondane in 2008 after her husband abandoned her and their children. They all lived in an unfinished house of a friend until a year ago. Tisauke has started to build a house on her own plot of land that she has had for a long time. Tiko is helping her and it has walls and a roof and a door – we are working on the first proper window right now. Tikondane is investing in new income-generating activities and simply can’t help with large amounts of money.

Outside Katete district, Tisauke shares a field with one of her cousins, and hopes to harvest groundnuts and soya beans. She grows cassava and vegetables in bag gardens behind her house and keeps pigeons. Tisauke will start building her fences (money donated by RoundTrip Foundation) before Christmas so her gardens will be protected, and (fingers crossed) her children will have plenty of nutritious home-grown food.

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