“FH has empowered us, socially and economically. We grow vegetables that have improved our family nutrition and are a source of income to meet other essential family needs.” - Oliver Woniale
Married with seven children, Oliver is an excellent mother who used to worry about her children’s fragile future.
“Life was generally hard in the past,” she remembers. “As a family we struggled a lot to make ends meet. Even mere vegetables - we could not grow them; instead we bought everything from the market, yet we have land.” Like many families in their rural farming community, Oliver and her husband didn’t have access to the knowledge or inputs (like expensive fertilizer and good quality seeds) they needed to make a living off their land. As a result, their precious children didn’t always know where the next meal would come from.
That is, until Oliver took advantage of FH agricultural training workshops. They taught her how to grow more food on less land using only locally available natural inputs (like compost and organic fertilizer) and provided her community with starter seeds and hands-on support.
“As an active farmer, I have benefited from FH farmer training. As a woman, I seriously acknowledge that FH has empowered us, socially and economically!” exclaims Oliver. “We grow vegetables that have improved our family nutrition and are a source of income to meet other essential family needs like cooking oil, soap, and savings.”
The changes in Oliver’s life were made possible by generous Canadians who gave toward gardening. Oliver’s family now has food for today, and savings for tomorrow. Their future is secure!
Oliver now serves as the treasurer for the Bungwaanyi FH Farmers and Savings Association.
“The community is embracing FH programs ranging from savings to farming activities,” she explains. “Members have cultivated a savings culture unlike before. This is causing quite a number of changes like improving housing and starting businesses in the community.”
Before FH’s partnership with the community of Bungwaanyi, families struggled to earn an income with their farming, put away money in savings, and work together to support each other. Now, all that is changing.
“With FH initiatives, people have come together,” Oliver says. “FH has encouraged us to work as a team in order to accomplish activities in time, like weeding our gardens. This was not the case before where people used to work in isolation. I feel much better, because there is teamwork among community members. FH programs unite us - we share ideas and dreams, we have set up reasonable goals to achieve as individuals and a community as a whole.”
Reflecting on some of those dreams, Oliver expresses her desire for her neighbours to share in the transformation she and her family have enjoyed. “I would like to see all community members embrace gardening ideas and technologies introduced by FH. I believe if we all embrace these ideas, our community will become better, our families will be well, and our children will be healthy.”
Help more mothers like Oliver plant a new future for their children!