Lustia Nkhoma is a role model for women and girls in Malawi, and a leader in agricultural development. Lustia manages the agricultural extension team with the Clinton Development Initiative (CDI) in central Malawi. With CDI, Lustia supervises and mentors CDI field officers who are responsible for educating the community about the Anchor Farm Project and providing support to participating farmers. Lustia also disseminates information about agricultural best practices to farmers and field officers so they can be aware of the best agronomic farming techniques. Passionate about her job, Lustia “works as if the organization is mine” and strives to be as involved in the community as possible.
As a female leader, Lustia has found that some men are uncomfortable with women in leadership positions. Her dedication to improving her community is what continues to drive her work and prevents her from becoming discouraged by what others may believe. Lustia chooses to see these challenges as opportunities for personal and professional growth, and says these “challenges have shaped me in one way or other into the woman I am today.”
Lustia also spends time mentoring young women and girls so that they can visualize their future. She encourages them to believe in themselves and their abilities so that they can confidently pursue rewarding careers. Lustia’s vision for the next generation of women and girls is for: “All the women and girls [to be] busy doing something to improve their livelihoods. I want to see women and girls being leaders in society. I want to see women and girls being owners and managers running big business.” Lustia is a role model for women and girls not just in Malawi, but also around the world.
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