Abdonia Liufeto is a young farmer in Saenam village in West Timor; she and her husband, Absadon Tefa have a daughter, Anisa, who is almost two years old. Saenam, like villages in this remote part of eastern Indonesia, is perennial prone to polar opposite natural disasters: drought and floods. And, access to clean water is low and latrines are few, so open defecation common. Other conditions of rural poverty and isolation are evident in the area, too.
Of concern to Abdonia and Absadon is the way that all these things lead to malnutrition in young children, and so they worry for Anisa. But, by joining activities in the Timor Zero Hunger project Anisa’s parents are now raising chickens and planting a variety of nutritious vegetables for her. “We used to plant only cassava and papaya, with those leaves our only vegetables,” remembers Abdonia. “We now have many different vegetables and we also know how to plant and care for them well by making and using organic fertilizer and using our water wisely. Since we started our garden just six months ago, we have already harvested four times, and what we don’t eat ourselves I have been able to sell in the market to earn almost $40, which I’m saving to protect Anisa’s health even more by improving our latrine.”
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