12 Nov #imapiece Indonesia trip doodle – one Craftivist Jigsaw piece of the solution to hunger
Today we saw 3 different local projects by local residents in partnership with Save the Children, all tackling child malnutrition and hunger issues. I’m inspired and shattered after asking lots of questions to the local Save the Children staff & local residents and listening hard to their thoughtful and honest answers. There is too much to say for me to try and put in a vlog or blog up quickly and it wouldn’t do the projects justice. So… I’m going to do different posts on those projects over the course of this trip and when I get home.
Tonight I focused on thinking about the Home Garden Project model Save the Children have implemented with local families in Aceh, Indonesia especially mothers and single mothers. It’s been so successful with 400 families in the district that the Government have come out to visit, asked the staff for more information and are hoping to roll it out as a successful model in other districts with the help of Government money *fingers crossed*!
So what is it? Well, I’m glad you asked because it’s so simply but so very awesome! Families and single mothers with low incomes and children under 5 years old are encouraged to use their garden around their home to grow healthy vegetables- the veg isn’t just for them to eat but also to sell to local people. The seeds offered is a big variety including spinach, mustard seeds, celery, watercress amongst others. The mother can choose what to grow and how many varieties. They are then trained in gardening and looking after their crops by Save the Children staff. Plus they are encouraged to ask for advice and support from other mothers in the area so they can share tips, food and have some healthy competition. They are also encouraged to teach and help others to grow food for their families and to sell. If they are shy they don’t have to go to the local market to sell because Save the Children help encourage prospective buyers to visit their gardens.
I asked loads of questions (you know me!:s) and one of them was asking if they are saturating the local market but Khalid from Save the Children said that they are very careful not to and this is a great sustainable food system= small scale farms where the farmers control the prices and selling the product locally rather than relying on middle men/women. What a great model much more than giant companies producing one single crop in a giant field no?
As a result of the project, children are eating more healthy food, parents and children are understanding the importance, value and nutrition of these foods and how they can use them in their meals, women feel proud (check out the photo of proud mothers above) & valued which leads to an increase in confidence and self worth as well as building friendships with their peers regardless of ethnic differences within the region (which have caused tension in the past). So many more benefits- check out the leaves on my doodle for more.
All of the projects we saw today had a time limit (mostly 3 years but sometimes 1 year) to try and make sure that the local community worked with Save the Children to implement and shape the projects in an organic and grassroots sustainable way. That means that when Save the Children leave, the project continues and the community helps it grow (pardon the pun) stronger and bigger with other residents and districts copying this successful model. It’s such a simple but successful project and I could talk about it forever but for me it helped to put it into a diagram. The roots are the problems this project was created to tackle. The tree trunk is the resources to put in to deliver the project (notice how this part is so small = brilliant ‘value for money’ aye?)and the leaves are the positive results of the project.
I think this model is a part of the solution to hunger and child malnutrition don’t you?:) One brilliant piece of the puzzle to eradicate hunger woop woop! Hopefully it’s inspired you to get involved in our Craftivist Jigsaw project #imapiece. I’m definitely going to tell my MP about it when I get home as part of my slot I have with her at her open surgery
I could ramble on about this brilliant project but its 12:30am here and I have to get up at 5am to go to the local market so I’ll leave you looking at my doodle- What do you think? Does it make any sense? Please do let me know- I’m keen to know either way. See ya! xxx