|The women of Bhokaha|
Most of you have heard it said: “You can give someone a fish, or you can teach them how to catch fish.” But it is only when they continue to catch fish after you have taught them that makes the project sustainable.
Since farming comes naturally to all those women who take part in our projects, we thought of vegetables instead of fish.
All Nepali village women know how to tend their gardens, but
learning how to grow vegetables without the use of pesticide and insecticide sprays is important. Now, the women can grow healthier food and earn an income, since many Nepalis are aware of the advantages of chemical free produce and are willing (and able) to pay a little extra for it.
Our plan was simple; the women’s groups involved would rent a small piece of land, equivalent to the size of two thirds of a football field, paid for by WELNepal, along with the seed and the furrowing and the water pump and the training in growing chemical free produce. After three years, WELNepal’s funding would end and, hopefully, the women would continue renting land and growing healthy vegetables; a sustainable project.
Let me tell you about the women of Bhokaha. Six or seven years ago the women of this little village, who you can see in the photo above took part in our first chemical free farming project.
This year, those same women, under the motivation of the resident Alpha woman, Son Mathi, are renting FIVE FOOTBALL FIELDS of land. They have also opened their own vegetable shop to sell their goods and, to put ALL their produce to good use, they have opened a catering company to feed the folks at festivals, weddings and any and all of the many other reasons Nepalis love to gather, sing, dance, and of course eat.
How is that for sustainability? I think that the women of Bhokaha have blown “sustainability” right out of the water.