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Mozambique: gardening for nutrition

Peter Anderson, head of Concern Worldwide in Northern Ireland, recently travelled to Mozambique. 

There, he saw the impact of our charity work, tackling hunger and malnutrition in one of Mozambique’s most isolated areas. Watch Peter’s trip on UTV news at 10.30pm on 9 and 10 October.

Ulster television (UTV), the Newsletter and Press Eye Photography accompanied Peter on his trip.

Hunger project

They visited the Chinde District and saw how our hunger projects there are making a difference to people’s lives. One of these people is Luisa Chapepa. She is part of a Concern-supported garden association which grows vegetables to encourage a more nutritious diet. 

Garden project

We work with 30 households on our garden project in Chinde, a district with a population of 120,000 people. Luisa and her family are one of these households. Luisa and her husband, Gomes, have two young sons, Jose and Neli. Their quarter-hectare farm has previously only grown enough cassava and rice for the family to survive. Now, thanks to the garden project, they are growing more vegetables, eating better food and have improved their income. Here’s Luisa’s story.

Luisa’s story

Since I was born, life has been difficult, always working on the farm. I have to work on the farm to get enough food to eat and just enough money to buy some salt, oil and soap. In our community garden, I planted cabbage, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and carrots.

With the garden, we have been able to eat more vegetables to help my children grow strong. When my children eat vegetables they are happier.

But, it is not only the children who are happier, we are all happier!  And the association has saved some of the income to buy more seeds for next year.

Next steps

With the extra income, Luisa has bought pots, plates and clothes for the family. The garden association plan to double the reach of the project next year and include various beans and sesame seeds, which can be sold at the local market.

The right path

Luisa wants her children to finish their education "so that they have opportunities for a better life". The garden project has meant that this is now a possibility: “it is just a start”, she says, “[but] we are on the right path.”