Plant a seed, grow a future

Jan 09, 2017
Fields, forests and farms provide food for families in Yodamphone's village" but it's not always enough, especially if you have eight mouths to feed. Together with his wife, Pha, Yodamphone has six children. The couple used to work in the fields and the forest from dawn until dusk, trying to gather enough food. "I usually woke up very early and headed straight to the forest in search of food," says Pha. "It was a difficult situation, but with no food to eat and witnessing the negative effects that had on my children's health"| I had little choice." 

Even so, the family often went hungry. "In years when the rice harvest was good, our family had enough food for about six months in the year," Pha explains. "Some years, our farm was affected by floods, so we remained hungry."

In 2014, they got involved with a World Vision home gardening project, along with six other families suffering from malnutrition. Having grown accustomed to working long hours outside, it was difficult for them to sit inside a classroom all day, but any boredom quickly disappeared when the trainer spoke of growing lettuce, cucumbers, green beans, garlic, onions and other new vegetables.

World Vision also took Yodamphone to another province to learn how farmers could grow food during both the rainy season and dry season. He was filled with excitement, eager to try these new farming techniques back at home. "Now, since establishing our home garden, my family has more nutritious food to eat," says the dad. "My wife and I no longer worry about what we will feed our children, leaving us with more time to look after them instead of foraging in the forest." 

At the same time, World Vision is organizing cooking courses in the village. "I'm one of the mothers who attended the 12-day training course on nutrition," says Pha. "Time is valuable, so I really appreciate the opportunity to learn about a different kind of food production system that replaces time in the forest."Since establishing their garden, the family has also started raising chickens and ducks as an extra income source.

Yodamphone explains that in the future, he wants to sell vegetables for profit as well, but first they'll need to come up with a way to store more water for the dry season. "I would like to thank the donors, government and World Vision for supporting us with materials and knowledge that enable our family to have more food and a better life," he says.