- Make a Donation
- Become a Child Sponsor
- Shop Our Gift Catalog
- Get Involved
- Join Our Cause
Chronic malnutrition is widespread in Bangladesh and affects nearly 200 million young children around the world. Even if these children survive increased risk of death, they are likely to suffer permanent damage to their physical and intellectual growth.
Helping families create and make the best use of homestead gardens is one strategy that creates sustainable access to the variety of nutrients children need to survive and thrive.
Mahinur Begum, 25, explains what her garden means to her and her son 14-month son, Narial:
"It took some doing to convince us that we should grow vegetables. My husband was making a reasonable living with our fruit and wood trees, so at first we didn’t see the point. But now that we are doing both, we really see the benefit.
"I love having a big vegetable garden. For the most part we used to eat just fish or meat or dhal with rice. When we would buy vegetables from the market, we would buy just one kind because eating even a moderate number of vegetables would cost about 50 Taka (US $0.73) a day.
"Now I can go just go out in my garden, choose what I want to eat — cauliflower today, spinach tomorrow — and cook it.
"This was especially helpful when I was pregnant. The community health volunteers told me to eat a lot of vegetables. The garden made that easy and affordable. Now I use this garden to feed my baby. I like that we have grown it and we have an attachment to it. We know that it was grown naturally, without chemicals, so we can feel good about feeding it to our son. I often cook khichuri and mix in lots of different vegetables. The eggs from our chickens make this a complete and nutritious food.
"Another thing I like about this garden is that because we grow more than we can eat, we are also earning money —almost 2,000 Taka (US $29) profit each month.
"This is great, but money isn’t everything. You also have to have knowledge. Previously we didn’t know which food contained which kinds of nutrients and why they were essential to the body. "Now we have food, we have money and thanks to the community health volunteers and program staff, we now know how to use it. Now we have everything."