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Monday, July 15, 2024
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    CARE assisting Tafea outer islands to recover food gardens

    With support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, CARE in Vanuatu has been able to provide gardening tools, more resilient crop seedlings, and construct vegetable nurseries to serve over 6,000 people in southeast Tanna, Aneityum, Futuna, and Aniwa.

    In collaboration with the Vanuatu Department of Agriculture, CARE has been working in the Tafea Outer Islands to assist the local communities in recovering their vegetable gardens that were lost or damaged during the twin cyclones TC Judy and Kevin. This Agriculture Livelihood and Recovery Project assists local communities to ensure that they have enough food after a cyclone and is planting more resistant crops like Fijian Taro and wild yam that could withstand future cyclones.

    “We distribute seedlings, purchase gardening tools and resistant crops seedlings from the agriculture department like Fijian Taro and Yam,” stated Mala Kenneth, Coordinator of CARE’s Livelihood and Recovery Project. In the three Tafea Outer Islands, we develop nurseries in collaboration with local builders and give out yam spades for gardening.

    According to her, CARE and the agriculture department have so far constructed 12 nurseries in Aneityum and Futuna. The team will now move to Aniwa to finish the remaining three, totaling 15 nurseries, which the team will build for each community to help them cultivate their own seedlings for future needs.

    One of the projects’ beneficiaries is Ishia Secondary School, which will gain from a nursery built with CARE’s assistance.

    The principal of Ishia Secondary School in Futuna, Metai Tamasui, states that the school is extremely lucky to be a part of CARE’s program.

    “The nursery is finished, but we haven’t begun planting seeds yet. Once it is up and running, we think it will be a huge assistance to the school, as it needs veggies to sustain. In the past, communities have been unable to provide local food for the school. However, this time, Mr. Tamasui stated, “We can manage ourselves because we have a nursery where we can plant our cabbages to feed the students.”

    He noted that this is the first time the school has received support of this nature in his tenure as principal. According to Mr. Tamasui, in the past, organisations that came to Tafea to engage with the community on projects frequently neglected to involve the schools in their discussions.

    However, as soon as I learn about this initiative, I urge them to think about involving the schools as well, as during a hurricane, we always flee to the classrooms, but with projects like this, we overlook the schools. He remarked, “I want to express my gratitude to Mala and CARE in Vanuatu for acknowledging our concerns and incorporating the school within the programme.

    According to him, the nursery will help the school’s 258 pupils, who make up the majority of the population of Futuna.

    The Agriculture Livelihood and Recovery Project of CARE, according to volunteer agriculture teacher Viavia Kaman of Ishia Secondary School, is meeting the needs of the people of Futuna.

    By building nurseries to increase food production on the island, the initiative will advance food security. According to Mr. Kaman, it will also help the people’s standard of living for them to eat healthily and bring color to their plates.

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