Hunger and malnutrition are massive problems in Timor-Leste.
Timor-Leste sits at 108 out of 116 on the Global Hunger Index, with only a handful of countries such as Chad and Yemen in a worse situation. The World Food Program’s 2023 report found over 300,000 East Timorese are seriously malnourished and at imminent risk of permanent harm.
47% of children under five have stunting (severe malnutrition). This has consequences for their future health, education, productivity and capacity.
We have established and run 3 school garden programs at Belola, Ai-Asa and Budin Schools in Bobonaro. 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 in the children’s school lunches (often their only nutritious meal of the day).
We hope to have funding to establish 2 more school gardens in 2024.
These school garden projects were founded with funding by Rotary Australia – International, but we need donations for their ongoing running costs. A donation of A$1,700 will run an existing school garden for a year. A donation of $2,800 will allow us to establish a new garden and run it for a year.