Last month CWS celebrated a new water system’s inauguration in a small rural village in Timor-Leste. This celebration was not just about easier access to water, but opportunities for a better future. Through information sharing, monthly monitoring and technical support, 25 family farm plots and two communal gardens have been cultivated using improved inputs, techniques and CWS support for families to meet their immediate need for nutritious food … and explore new income opportunities.
For example, after seeing the improved access to water during the irrigation inauguration last month, Ministry of Agriculture, which has partnered with CWS and Maumetalao village for almost two years, decided the village would be ideal to grow black pepper seedlings, which produce a valuable cash crop. With the new water sources, and people willing to register and use their own trees to support black pepper vines, a new partnership formed. To help manage the new initiative, the Ministry chose Hemen Gildo Gonsalves de Fatima, a father of five who already works with CWS. “We just added 14,300 plants to our greenhouse”, he says. In time, the plants will be transferred to individual families and, as Hemen noted, “This is a long-term investment that, along with water from the new tank, will help make a future a little brighter”.
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