Pabitra and her husband. With the training from Mission East they are now able to give their children more and healthier food. Photo: Nirmal Bista, HEAD Nepal
By Nirmal Bista, HEAD Nepal & Line Højland, Communications Officer 21 Dec 2018 |

Vegetables make children healthy

Pabitra’s daughter did not get enough food when she was a baby and struggles with physical and cognitive difficulties. But in Mission East’s classes for women in Nepal, Pabitra is now learning how to give her children a healthy and nutritious diet. 

Pabitra comes from an extremely poor Dalit family in the remote mountain area of Western Nepal. She got married by the age of 15 and lives with her husband and three children in the village of Thehe. The family lives off the food they manage to grow on their own little piece of land. 

One of the children is very small compared to other children of her age, and she struggles with cognitive difficulties. Pabitra herself thinks that her daughter’s disability is due to not getting enough food as a baby. Back then, Pabitra was forced away to work to pay off a loan in the house. While she was gone, the daughter did not get enough nutrition and care. 

Better at cultivating the land

Therefore, Pabitra is very happy for the opportunity to participate in Mission East’s classes for women. Here she learns about children’s nutrition and about how she can utilize her piece of land in the best way possible to grow nutritious and vitamin-rich vegetables. 

Pabitra has also been on a six-day workshop in growing vegetables in a greenhouse and has learned about which vegetables are suited to grow in the harsh climate of the Himalayan mountains. Later, Pabitra will get more training in agriculture and nutrition.

Will sell crops at the market

After the workshop, Pabitra has started to grow vegetables – especially the very nutritious green vegetables – in a greenhouse. She is careful to include vegetables in most meals. With support from Mission East, Pabitra will also receive young walnut and apple trees and thereby extend her agricultural activities. She plans to sell the surplus produce at local markets to earn money and thereby improve the family’s life and future opportunities. 

”This is only the beginning, and I think there is a great potential for improving the farming here in Thehe,” she says.

Pabitra’s daughter is smaller than average and has cognitive difficulties, most likely because she did not get enough nutrition as a baby. Photo: Foto: Nirmal Bista, HEAD Nepal