Namaste! Tashi Delek and Hello!
I recently met with the both the Indian families and the Tibetan Organic extension officer representing the farmers. The outcomes of the initial development for the Tibetan Organic Vegetable hoop houses entails the empowerment of the people to advance with little resources.
The first two beneficiaries of hop house reports that Camp 7 determined to use the 2 opportunities for camp as a cooperative. They have chosen to double the size of the hoop house and all produce grown will be sold and the funds will be pooled into their self help group which will provide micro loans to other farmers who wish to construct hoop houses as self sustaining the families needs and development of economic opportunity.
The second beneficiary is a woman farmer from camp 4 who we met several years ago who helped with the preparation of the rice distribution to the Indian families. She is quit motivated and although her annual income from farming is only rs10,000 (less than $200) a year she took some funds and increased the size of the hoop house to create a nursery. She will grow vegetable starters for other beneficiaries who will be constructing their hoop houses in the coming months. Not only is this an incredible way to give to her community but in the future she will also possibly be able to sell the starters for added income in addition to growing her own produce. She is currently already growing chives and selling to the monastery for use in momos and is receiving income of approximately an additional rs 400 or more a month.
I am thrilled to report the advancement of the project and the way in which the people are motivated to take a little and move it beyond any expectations to create a local food supply of organic vegetables.
The Indian families were also motivated to continue the growth of their sack gardens although they are faced with a few difficulties and are not able to grow year round. We discussed the expansion of the sack gardens and the Tibetan Organic farmers will order truck load of rich soil to be delivered to them in the beginning of May. Due to the extreme heat during Jan- May there is also a water shortage and the Indian families seemed stressed with the idea of using water during this time period for gardening when there is often not enough water for their basic needs. So we discussed that the People Feeding People project will look at scheduling rice deliveries during the first 4 months of the year to eliminate hunger and then in May they will start their gardens which will provide produce for them for the rest of the year. This is a wonderful way for them to become more self reliant and they are motivated. We determined a leader in the group who will also work as the seed distributor to ensure the seed distribution is managed.
We also discussed the opportunity for skilled training for construction jobs but there was reluctance from most the men because their families values stipulate they need to be with the wife and children in the evenings and nights as well many of them are taking care of their elders. This is certainly a cultural value to be respected.
We will continue to give updates as the Organic farmers advance the hoop house. But for now my work in completed in India since I can not return during this time period due to strict security while the Dali Lama is present.
Thank you again to all who continue to support the program and provide continue growth to access for healthy food for all.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated and still there is a GoFundMe campaign where you can donate if you would like to contribute to the future giving of rice and lentils in the coming months and the growth of more sack gardens in May.
Happy Holidays to all and best wishes.
Director- Pennies for Partnerships