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Working hard to make a living is not something new for Alveret Tloim, 38, a father of two from Mella village. After graduating from high school, he sold water around the village, served as a conductor on public transportation, and other odd jobs to help his family financially and to send his four siblings to school. After the death of his parents, Alveret took on the responsibility to take care of all his brothers and sisters in addition to his wife and his children.
In May 2012, Alveret joined the Rapid Action on Nutrition and Agriculture project—a Mondelēz International-funded program implemented by Helen Keller International—as a beneficiary. He learned how to raise vegetables in his garden and in his nursery, distribute seeds to other households in the villages, and provide assistance to his community. After three years of participation, his family now can eat a diversity of nutritious fruits and vegetables instead of only rice and corn like before. Better yet, he always earns extra money by selling the surplus vegetables from his yard. He also helps his neighbors by distributing seeds to anyone who needs it so they can raise their own vegetables.
“By joining this program, I get all the support I need. I can produce enough vegetables for my family, make enough income, and, with the availability of free seeds, many farmers are now able to grow vegetables all year round. It is really great to learn how to produce vegetable seeds and I am so grateful to have my village nursery that I am committed to produce seeds throughout the year and help as many farmers as possible.”