Tashi Delek, Namaste and Hello from India!
The People Feeding People project continues. I recently had a most amazing reunion by surprise visiting the Indian Families sponsored by the project. The smiles and welcome were overwhelming and it felt like a family reunion.
The children have grown and their condition of living has improved over the past two years, although, the issues at hand are concerning in that although the families are now living in permanent housing the situation is perpetuated by extreme poverty. The families still live in unsanitary conditions with no toilet but they do now have water easily accessible. Many of the homes are still incomplete in construction as the government housing here offers families a small amount of money and land to build on. The amount of money offered to the families is not enough to actually construct a dwelling so most have had to take private loans from local business owners and are now in greater debt than ever before. In addition previously they did not have monthly overhead or bills and now since they have electricity they have an additional financial burden to pay the monthly electric bill. Their incomes remain the same in most cases with some variations in loss of income due to death or illness in the families. So the food insecurity situation among the families continues.
Over the course of the last 3 months the Tibetan Organic Farmers have not has the supplies available to delivery the monthly rice or lentils and the families have had food insecurity usually 1 week out of the month. Our dialogue has started about the importance to grown their own food which we will discuss further the idea of sack gardening.
I met with the Tibetan Organic Agriculture Officers yesterday to discuss the opportunity for further development of a local food network and local sustainability. We will meet again today to further the discussion of starting a small nursery where they can grown organic seedlings for what will hopefully advance the local Tibetan community into vegetable production and gardens. The idea is with a pilot program we could offer support to a few farmers to grow vegetables to sell in the Tibetan camp offering organic options to the local community. Furthering the initiative to advance self-reliance in the Indian families we would purchase from the Tibetan nursery the things needed to teach the Indian families how to grow sack gardens. There is a small amount of reluctance from the Indian families as they are concerned of theft from the neighboring community.
Planning meetings continues today with the Tibetan Organic Farmers and further assessment of the Indian families will also continue. I am currently conducting the same survey as conducted in 2012 to produce an outcome study of how the families lives have been impacted since the program started. In addition this data provides details as to which families need the greatest assistance.
Also, many thanks to Noel, MO elementary school for their generation donation to help the family in the Indian community most in need. We will meet in the days to come to determine how to best distribute the funds to the family as they are the only family still living under plastic, with four small children.
The project is made possible with the help of all of you and the support you have shown over the years. The People Feeding People benefit dinner has also contributed greatly to the advancement of the local food network opportunity with the Tibetan Organic Farmers building a pilot program for vegetable production and a local farmers market focusing on organic foods.
Much gratitude to all the compassionate givers of Pennies for Partnerships- People Feeding People outreach.
If you or anyone you know may be interested in making a donation to further these efforts please donate through the paypal button located in the left side bar. This initiative is supported by The Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas an official 501c3 nonprofit.
Also you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
With gratitude from the families and farmers,
Program Director (MSW)