Hauwa Abubakar, a 25-year-old mother of two children, was one of 400,000 women and children displaced from their home due to terrorism and instability. She now lives in an Internally Displaced Persons Community in Nigeria’s Adamawa state, where food, water, and sanitation are frequently in jeopardy.
Thanks to Helen Keller Intl, I don’t buy and consume fertilizer-grown crops anymore. I have access to nutritious food since I plant my food now.Hauwa Abubakar
For a long time, Hauwa struggled to feed her family. She and her children survived on whatever was available – mainly starchy foods. Even when she could keep her children’s bellies full, they lacked adequate nutrition to help them grow strong and thrive.
Helen Keller Intl works with women like Hauwa to improve access to nutritious foods to promote family health. Hauwa received seedlings and farm tools to develop her own garden, education necessary to help her garden thrive, and essential nutrition and hygiene practices to keep her family healthy. With these tools and training, Hauwa is able to feed her family with vegetables from her harvest. Plus, she can sell her surplus crops at the local market to generate income.
At first Hauwa’s garden started small. She cultivated a small vegetable garden in a corner of her compound with the seedlings Helen Keller Intl supplied to her. But within 12 months, Hauwa was able to expand her garden and relocate to a bigger farm. Her farm now includes orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, green vegetables, maize, and cassava. Through her training with Helen Keller, Hauwa learned about sustainable farming methods and now grows food according to the seasons – adapting crops for the rainy and dry seasons. Hauwa shares some of these crops with her family, friends, and neighbors, and she uses the money she generates at the market to buy additional seeds and other household items, building long term sustainability for her farm and family.
“Thanks to Helen Keller Intl, I don’t buy and consume fertilizer-grown crops anymore. I have access to nutritious food since I plant my food now. I also teach other women how to grow food in their backyard and those without a backyard in recyclable containers (buckets, tires).’’ –Hauwa Abubakar
With initial support, vulnerable displaced families – who have already gone through so many challenges – are able to start their new lives with greater stability and access to diverse nutritious food year-round, unlocking unlimited potential.