Stories of Change

Yuliana leads her group's monthly meeting.

Drip, Drip, Drip (Irrigation): Better Diets and More Produce to Sell in Op Village, Indonesia

Susana Tefa lives in Op village in West Timor, Indonesia. She and her husband are always looking for ways to improve their lives and livelihoods, so Susana took advantage of the opportunity to join classes and information sessions offered through our Timor Zero Hunger program. The program is open to everyone in Op and nearby villages who are interested and motivated. ““I joined in all the activities I could. I joined the savings and loan group, and learned a lot in the business education sessions,” Susana says. 

Susana joined other farmers in a drip irrigation group at their community garden. With their irrigation system in place, group members like Susana can plant and harvest vegetables three or four times a year, so they no longer need to buy vegetables in the market. And, in fact, they have surplus to sell to earn extra income for their families. “So, now I have improved our family income and our nutrition,” Susana says with pride. Another point of pride is having money to put into the savings group. This gives her possibilities for the future, too, when she is confident to take a loan to expand her farming or other small business.

Timor Zero Hunger and its Berdaya (“empowerment”) initiative for women and girls help families improve their well-being by sharing information about modern and sustainable farming practices, teaching ways to diversify and increase income and giving opportunities for group savings and borrowing from self-help groups. As of now, 48 farmers in the villages where CWS works in West Timor are using drip irrigation systems and changed farming practices that make it possible for them to plant and harvest up to four times a year. This is a major change from past years when, without water, they were lucky to plant once or twice. In addition to newfound luck, the women who inspire CWS team members are those who add their hope and perseverance to make something of that luck.