Twentysomethings Clementina Pintu dos Santosher and Bernadus Lalus and their two young children live in a village high in the mountains above a nearby town that is not far, by distance, from Timor-Leste’s capital city, Dili. Yet, life is hard for the family: Bernadus works odd jobs a few dollars at a time, Clementina has no income and their home is far from the town: about 5 hours’ walking because there is no public transportation and the family are far too poor to have a motor bike.
To help her family improve their situation, Clementina was invited to join Timor Zero Hunger project activities, earlier this year and she immediately took the opportunity, along with 99 others, to learn how to raise chickens well: vaccinate them, cage them to keep them from being preyed on by wild animals, and feed them well so they produce healthy eggs and hatch healthy chicks. She and Bernadus then built a coop for the hens and a rooster CWS provided as part of the project. When we met Clementina recently she said, “I don’t speak Indonesian or Tetumome, I just speak our local dialect, but some neighbors translated for me and others, so we could understand everything. For me, this was the first opportunity I have ever had to join a learning group like this, and I’m happy CWS is here because no other
outside organization or government agency is helping us improve our lives. The whole community here is very poor, especially the families who have no regular paid work.” Now she has had this chance, Clementina also made a promise to herself to grow her flock so she can earn some money to support the family; and, even more important, to have more nutritious food for her 2- and 4-year-old children, which is a key aims of Timor Zero Hunger, which CWS promotes and supports for the wellness and wellbeing of all children whose mothers and fathers join the initiative.
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