A New Lease on Life
“My name is Rekha. I am thankful and happy that my children are well-fed and healthy and that I have a steady income, but this wasn’t always the case.
My husband and I used to have a small home near the road in our village, but we were forced to leave it because of road expansion. We moved to a different village, but because we didn’t own land, we built a small place on public land. Soon afterward, my husband left for India to look for work.
The big problems started when we lost everything during a major windstorm that destroyed our home. When my son got sick, we didn’t have money for his treatment. I borrowed some from a moneylender, and had to borrow even more to continue caring for him. I started sharecropping and growing rice, but I was all on my own and extremely worried about how I would pay back the loan.
That’s when the staff of [local partner] BICWS stepped in. They encouraged me to join a farmers group, and I leased a small plot of land for growing vegetables. I began to attend classes on vegetable farming, ways to protect my plants from pests, and making compost fertilizer to enrich the soil and improve the nutritional quality and taste of the food. My children and I not only eat fresh vegetables every day, we also sell some at the local market. In one season I earned enough to pay off the medical loan. In the future I hope to earn enough to purchase my own land. Once again, I am grateful from my heart to the program for the support and knowledge I’ve gained.”
Rekha, particpant Napal Bhatigachh program, Nepal
Caption: Rekha and 3 of her 4 children
Nepal Bhatigachh Program
Led by Mennonite Central Committee and Local Partner BICWS