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Planting seeds of hope in Pakistan

Planting seeds of hope in Pakistan

Bóthar has been working with women in rural Pakistan providing household food security through nutrition, education & sustainable home gardening. Read this report from Bóthar representative Qamar Zaman...

GREETINGS from Tanzeeme-Nau-Jawana TNJ (Youth Association) Pakistan!

I wanted to let your donors know that the project they supported has really made a difference to the lives of 400 women and 100 girls in rural areas of District Nankana, Sahib, Pakistan. Last year we started working on a new initiative thanks to funding we received from Bóthar. The Kitchen Garden Project aimed to educate women in rural Pakistan about sustainable development, a balanced diet, nutrition, composting and organic kitchen gardening. Over 500 women and girls received free vegetable seeds and kitchen gardening hand tools kits, along with the necessary training in order to establish their gardens.

At the end of the first year, the health of all participants and their family members has improved and awareness increased about the importance of a balanced diet to improve the health status of women, especially expectant mothers. By contributing to the sustainability of their family, women were also included in making important family decisions and there was a noticeable decrease in family break-ups.

One of the project participants, Ms Saima, a 38 year old mother from the Tehsil Shahkot District, had been involved in agricultural activities from childhood but was unable to feed her family. When she heard about an introductory session for the Kitchen Gardening Project, Saima registered herself.

She attended trainings on kitchen gardening and observed all activities. During a session she shared her deep concern about the sharp increase in food prices and its negative impacts on vulnerable households. She also shared her delight that she would soon be able to grow her own.

After receiving the high quality seasonal seeds and the kitchen gardening hand tool kit, Samia grew the seeds in her small house but she also trained the men of the household as well as the grown up children.

“I have never grown vegetables even though I was involved in agriculture. Now this small garden is a source of nourishment for my family. We eat fresh, pesticide free and organic vegetables every day. So we are spending less on food and also earning from selling extra vegetables to other villagers. I also support my relatives who have little money to buy vegetables.“

The Kitchen Garden Project was well received and gave families the chance of self-sustainability and greater education to make better food and health choices. It has been suggested that the next phase of the project could include goats and chickens as waste material could be used as organic fertiliser. We’ll keep you updated as the project develops.

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