Elsa, 53, is a single mum from Bobonaro District in Timor-Leste – home to some of the highest rates of malnutrition and child stunting in the world.
According to a 2016 government health survey, about 50% of children under the age of five are stunted. This is more common and severe among poor families, the majority of which live in rural areas like Elsa’s.
A chance to learn
When Elsa’s husband, who was the breadwinner, abandoned the family, she had no way to provide for her two sons.
With our friends at Timor Aid, we helped Elsa access agriculture and business training so she could start her own micro-enterprise.
Elsa began by growing and selling papaya. She kept some of the fruit aside for household consumption and sold the rest at market. Soon, she had enough cash to buy some chickens and establish a second income stream.
“The project makes me very busy by building the fences, ploughing the land, building the vegetable beds, and doing many other things,” said Elsa.
“I have also participated in the trainings on how to produce organic fertilisers, soil preparation, harvest, nutrition, and access to market.
Now, Elsa earns up to $14 per day to cover household expenses. She is preparing nutritious meals and sending her sons to school. Her next goal is to upgrade her vegetables beds and to set up a fish pond.
“I can now live better due to the assistance I received from this project,” she said.
“There is change in my life as I can earn my own income by selling vegetables to neighbours and to local markets.”
Donate now to help more Timorese families break free from hunger and poverty.
Sustainable Development Goals
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).