Hunger and malnutrition are a significant issue in Timor-Leste. Among the 116 countries surveyed for the 2021 Global Hunger Index, Timor-Leste sits at 108, with only a handful of countries such as Chad and Yemen in a worse situation. 47% of children under five have stunting (severe malnutrition). This has consequences for their future health, education, productivity and capacity.

We run a school garden program at Belola Pre-School and Ai-Asa Primary School, which are both in Balibo area, about a 2 hour drive from the capital, Dili. Sebastain, a horticulturally trained local, works with the children at the schools to plant, grow and harvest a wide range of nutritious fruit and vegetables including spinach, long beans, lettuce, cabbage, zucchini, white mustard, water melon, bananas and the super food moringa plants. These are used for the children’s school lunches (often their only nutritious meal of the day).

This project was founded with funding by Rotary Australia – International, but we need donations for its ongoing running costs (which are low). Your donation can help to grow fresh fruit and vegetables for Belola and Ai-Asa’s children.