“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”
It’s an old saying, but a simple way to describe how we work to achieve a world in which everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food.
According to the UN, in 2014 more than 99 million children under the age of five were still undernourished and underweight. In tackling this challenge, our main goal is to ensure that communities, and especially women and children, have access to local and renewable food sources.
Our food security programs:
- help local communities develop their own sustainable, resilient food sources
- improve farmers’ access to markets so they can derive a fair income from their produce
- educate communities on the importance of a nutritious diet for better health
- train people in conservation agriculture, irrigation schemes and community gardens
Case study: Timor Leste
Fatima is a young mother from Bobonaro Municipality in rural Timor Leste. When her village’s irrigation system broke down, Fatima was forced to make daily trips to the market to provide water for her family and her crops – an expensive and exhausting journey.
Working with Timor Aid, we helped Fatima’s village address their food and water shortages by repairing the irrigation system. We also invited 35 farmers, including Fatima, to a training course, where they learned basic agriculture and animal husbandry skills tailored to the region.
“The course taught me very useful techniques, such as how to build fences around crops to prevent damage, and how to cover seedlings with palm leaves to protect them from the harsh midday sun,” said Fatima.
The village built new kitchen gardens, chicken coops and fish farms, using locally sourced materials. They make a small profit by selling surplus crops at market, and use those profits to buy items they can’t produce, such as oil and onions.
“I also learned how to keep track of my profits by book-keeping,” said Fatima. “I am very happy with this training and proud that I can now feed my family nutritious meals every day.”