Francisco’s story: Learning to feed the family

Posted on April 18, 2018

Francisco grows peanuts in his garden - Action on Poverty

Francisco, a 50-year-old father from Liabote in Timor Leste, is a man of many talents. He received a scholarship to study teaching in Portugal before moving back to Timor in 2007 to educate other teachers in Dili.

Francisco takes charge

After his father passed away, Francisco moved back home to his ancestral village in Liabote to look after his family. When a broken irrigation canal threatened the village’s wellbeing, Francisco leapt at the chance to learn how to repair water systems.

Over 40% of people in Timor Leste live in poverty. Lack of access to clean water and nutritious food sources are a huge threat to vulnerable communities. Children are at particular risk of malnutrition and water-borne illnesses.

Finding a new livelihood

As a father of 8, Francisco was eager to improve his family’s health and income. In training sessions with our local partner, Timor Aid, he learned how to repair the village irrigation systems. But he didn’t stop there. He also learned new farming skills, such as how to select seeds for wet and dry seasons, how to make fertiliser, and how to build chicken pens.

Combined with training in budgeting and market analysis, Francisco has been able to feed his family and earn a good income selling his produce at local markets. This extra income means he can pay for his children’s school fees and meet their everyday needs.

Francisco has also generously provided his own land to local farmers’ groups for their fish ponds.

“I learned many new good things about fish farming, growing vegetables, and agricultural farming through this project,” said Francisco. “At the same time, I improved the quality of life for my family.”

Want to help more families learn how to grow their own food? Give a life-changing gift today.