Susmita comes from a farming family in Nepal that lives on daily wages. For many years she and her family ate simple food, giving little thought to nutrition and balanced meals. A few years ago, our field staff began teaching families how to provide children with more nutritious meals. Since buying vegetables and fruits was too burdensome financially for many homes, our Kitchen Garden program was established and became a good avenue to get organic and healthy food.
Susmita’s family first started planting their kitchen garden in 2018. As a sponsor child, she began learning the basics of gardening and which vegetables provided the best nutrition. Together as a family, they began to take an interest in planting and expanding their garden, encouraged by our team in their village. They then slowly moved from planting seasonal vegetables to perennial produce like potato, onion, garlic, tomato, beans, cauliflower and cabbage. They have been supported with seeds and saplings from our Tree Planting program and this has added much needed vitamins to their diet.
Ever since then their kitchen garden has been flourishing and they are able to eat different varieties of in-season vegetables and fruit regularly. In fact, they now no longer buy vegetables from outside and further, they earn an income by selling excess produce. This way they are able to buy additional school supplies and meet other needs.
Thanks to her sponsor, it also provides Susmita an outside reprieve as she loves the garden and utilises her free time there. She now knows how to take care of the garden and increase production which not only empowers her now but in the future when she has a family of her own.