$7,012 needed of $71,811
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)
This program responds to widespread malnutrition and seasonal hunger among marginalized landless and land-poor residents in Jahada. Farmers groups are being formed and participants are trained on vegetable farming and fish raising and are given access to leased land and fishponds. As a result, they are improving their diets and earning their own income rather than relying on labor migration and daily wage labor to survive. This is enabling marginalized communities to break out of the cycle of hunger and labor exploitation and improve their nutritional status and income by farming for themselves, rather than landlords.
In addition, mothers of malnourished children are learning to make “superflour” which children eat as a porridge to improve their nutrition. Mothers are also learning kitchen gardening skills for a diversified diet.
Program Update: Binda's Story
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty at Last
With support and training from local partner BICWS, Bhangi now has a clear path toward breaking the cycle of poverty. Her household includes three generations – Bhangi and her husband, son and daughter-in-law, and two grandsons. Their tiny plot of land, less than a half an acre, could not sustain the family’s nutritional needs. She worked as a daily wage laborer at a local landowner’s farm to help the family get by, but such seasonal work means the money is not constant. She would take out small loans with a local micro-finance company, but realized this was not a sustainable approach.
Ever hopeful, Bhangi next decided to take a chance on getting a bigger loan in order to lease some agricultural land to grow rice for market. Though she had good harvests, the effort wasn’t profitable because of low market prices and the high cost of seed, fertilizer and the land lease. She felt she was in the same boat as always but now had a bigger loan to pay off.
When BICWS staff came to her village for an orientation meeting with farmers about vegetable production, her hopefulness returned. The program allowed her to use a small plot of leased land, for which she would pay an increasing percentage of the rent over the course of three years while learning improved methods for vegetable growing. She decided to join in. Bhangi learned everything she could about the environmentally friendly techniques and put them into practice on her small plot. Imagine the deep satisfaction and relief she felt when she earned a profit and was able to pay off her loan!
Next year, she plans on expanding her operations. For now, Bhangi had this message for supporters: “I heartily thank the program for offering all these learning opportunities. You have helped my increase my income and improve my family’s situation.”
Nepal Jahada Program
Led by Mennonite Central Committee and Local Partner BICWS