Growing better fortunes in Myanmar

Vegetable gardens are helping families transform their children’s futures

In Myanmar, U Maung Pe is watering his garden. Packed with leafy seasonal crops and veggies, the garden isn’t just a source of pride for the father of two – it’s helping to send his children through school.

While 45-year-old U Maung Pe works hard as a labourer and seasonal farmer, he struggles to earn enough to support his family. Past attempts grow his own food, while fruitful, were not as effective as he’d hoped.

“It turned out good,” he says of the old garden, “but it was not as successful as right now.”

The transformation took place after U Maung Pe attended agricultural training held in his community. Supported by StarKids and facilitated by World Vision, the training taught U Maung Pe essential organic gardening techniques, such as how to use worm castings as fertiliser.

Now, he’s producing more crops than ever.

“The result of worm cast[ings] is amazing – my plants are now bigger in size,” he says. “I’m happy I had the chance to attend the training from World Vision. I now know what the best way is to grow vegetables and how to breed worm cast[ings] for fertiliser.”

World Vision also supported U Maung Pe and his village with seeds and training for growing seasonal crops.

Instead of spending hard-earnt money on vegetables from the market or fertiliser for the garden, U Maung Pe’s family can now save for the future. U Maung Pe is determined to keep gardening for as long as possible to save for his children’s education. He also hopes to share his new skills with others in his village.

U Maung Pe’s wife says home gardening has transformed their family.

“I don’t need to worry anymore about buying vegetables for my chicken. And [there’s] also enough to pack lunch boxes for my children.”

These days, U Maung Pe is growing enough vegetables to feed not just his children, but others in the community.

“It’s more than enough for our family … we can even share the vegetables with the neighbours.”