Save the Children, an international non-profit organization, recently concluded their two-year Livelihoods and Improved Nutrition for Kids (LINK) project in two sub-districts in Bener Meriah, Aceh, Indonesia. LINK successfully improved access to key health, nutrition, and agricultural livelihoods inputs and services, and mobilized key actors locally, benefitting 5,735 households. Below is one women’s story about the most significant change she has seen in her life as a result of this project:
Asnaini is a mother of three children, and lives in a modest house in Desa Fajar harapan, Bener Meriah. She has an 11 month-old baby and two other two children, aged 8 and 11, who attend school. Her husband, like most other villagers, works on a coffee farm. Next to their house is a small garden of 20 square meters, containing celery, spinach and other vegetables.
Through the LINK program, Asnaini and some 2,500 other women received vegetable seeds, learned about composting, fertilizing, and pest control.
“My husband and I never thought that the small piece of land could be profitable to us,” Asnaini said. “We never made real use of it. We planted celery but because there was no fence, chickens would come in and pick and destroy the plants.”
“Now we plant spinach which only takes a month to harvest and we can earn around 300,000 to 450,000 rupiah (US$33 to US$50) per month. Through the home gardening program I can provide my children more easily with healthy nutritious food and also have a more consistent additional income which I can use to buy my children’s school uniforms and supplies.” Asnaini said.
Asnaini is not only happy to be able to provide nutritious food for her children but through her role as a posyandu kader (volunteer community health worker) she is more knowledgeable about childhood nutrition and children’s healthy development.
“I am really grateful for the training that I received from Save the Children about Posyandu management. As a kader I used to think that Posyandu is only about weighing the children, but now I know that there’s more to it. It’s an opportunity to provide counseling for the mothers about child health and, most importantly, I have an important role to ensure that children get the regular immunization.” Asnaini said.