Leafy greens - great source of vitamins
On behalf of everyone at Educate the Children, I would like to thank you again for your support of our agricultural development work in Nepal.
Some of you may be wondering why, if we are called "Educate the Children," we are doing agricultural work. The answer to that question takes us back some 20 years.
ETC was (as the name indicates!) started for the purpose of giving impoverished children the opportunity to attend school even if their families could not afford to pay for uniforms, school supplies and fees, etc. However, we soon realized that our work would be even more effective if we did two other things as well:
- Ensured that the children's parents, often illiterate themselves, were convinced of the value of education in their children's lives, and
- Ensured that the children had enough to eat, because they cannot do well in school if they are hungry or malnourished.
Earlier this year, I bought myself a plane ticket and visited Nepal for the first time. I saw first-hand the kitchen gardens, larger vegetable farms, and goat and poultry farms of hundreds of families in the Dolakha District, where ETC is presently working. I even got to eat some of the local foods at my daily meals - especially caulflower, eggs, milk, and greens - and it was fresh and tasty and nutritious!
Here are some of the activities that your generosity has made possible during the past several months:
- An animal health clinic: 180 local farmers brought some 3,000 farm animals to this clinic, at which two veterinarians and five veterinary technicians provided routine check-ups, vaccinations, and medications for the animals.
- Kitchen garden resources: ETC distributed seeds for summer crops to 842 women who are growing nutritious food in their kitchen gardens. Their families eat better year-round because of these gardens, and any excess produce can be sold at market to increase household incomes.
- Agricultural training: ETC's agricultural staff specialists held a training workshop on mushroom cultivation. Mushrooms are a good cash crop in Nepal.
We promote low-cost, environmentally friendly farming techniques, including the use of compost and non-toxic pesticides made from natural and readily available ingredients such as plant extracts.
The skills and knowledge these women have gained through participating in ETC's agricultural development activities will last them a lifetime, and will help ensure that their families will eat better for years to come. Moreover, the income generated from agricultural activities enables women to keep their children in school and to support their families' well-being in many other ways that were not previously possible.
The photos below and on the website link are those I took in March 2013 in Nepal. I hope you enjoy seeing how your generosity is truly making a difference in the lives of people in Nepal!
Many women run small goat farms