Growing an education

Thanks to the support of StarKids, women like May are able to successfully farm.

May is 36-year-old woman from a small village in East Sumba, where she lives with her husband and children.

With so little water available, subsistence farming in this area is extremely difficult.  For May this has meant having to work as a weaver, selling clothing, and often having to borrow money from neighbours to pay for food for her family. 

After being chosen to attend Business Start Up training with Wahana Visi Indonesia in Bantaeng, May was able to learn about Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). This technique involves the regeneration of existing trees and shrubs by trimming the stumps and exposed roots, along with using simple water management systems to encourage regrowth.

“I have learned a lot from farmers in Bantaeng. At that time, I thought that if they could do it, I could do it too. I dug the hole, made organic fertilizer, kept the plants safe from cattle and in hot weather and took care of trees,” says May enthusiastically.

 May is now also able to grow ginger and turmeric plants which she can sell to help save for her children’s education expenses. “My neighbours often come here to buy it. By selling it, every day I can got twenty thousand rupiah (USD 2),” said May, “I always put any money that I got on my children’s education saving. I want my children to have high education. I must be very proud of them someday,” she says.