Bettina lives in a remote rural area in Swaziland with 10 family members, 9 of whom are children. Bettina tries to feed her family by collecting water with her donkey and selling this water to the community. Sometimes they eat only one light meal a day. The children are often hungry which makes studying difficult.
The family’s strength is their willingness to work hard. Another strong asset is her access to clean water (via a bore hole) and her donkey for transport.
After a few discussions with Bettina she decided the best way forward for her family would be for her to establish a home garden and grow her own food. We agreed and together decided how to put legs on her idea.
Over the last few months Bettina and her family cleared a large piece of her land. Operation Hope, along with SITC (the local Trade and Agricultural College) provided agricultural advice, fencing material, a water tank, seeds and seedlings.
Together with some of the local community members, our Swazi team and Nikki and Andrew (from our Australian team) helped to construct her garden fence and install a water tank.
Bettina was able to plant and water maize, beans, spinach and cabbage. She sells some of her vegetables to the neighbours to get money to buy some candles, matches, paraffin, soap, relish, salt and clothes for the children.
This year many families have lost most (if not all) of their maize crop because of lack of rainwater and planting too late. Bettina’s access to water and early planting and harvesting has really helped her family survive this potential disaster.
Over the coming year we will continue to provide Bettina with agricultural advice on inter cropping, seasonal planting and harvesting of seeds.