Timor-Leste has some of the highest rates of malnutrition and child stunting in the world. According to a government health survey in 2016, about 50% of children under the age of five are stunted. Unsurprisingly, this is more frequent and severe among poor families, the majority of which live in rural areas.
Action on Poverty (AOP) works with farming communities in remote districts to improve their food security and household nutrition. Building on their existing skills and assets, we help farmers improve their yields, diversify their crops, and learn about the nutritional values of their food. AOP also help farmers access local markets so they can earn extra income from cash crops.
However, progress is hindered by lack of reliable access to water. While the communities that have access to wells or irrigation systems have achieved good results, those without water infrastructure have much lower agricultural outputs, poorer nutritional status, and a lack of financial opportunity.
Giving the gift of water is truly life-changing. With reliable access to water, communities can grow nutritious food, increase their incomes, reduce their risk of disease, and live with greater dignity.
The NDY Charitable Trust made a donation of $4,000 to help build a well for a rural community in Bobonaro District of Timor-Leste. This well will give hundreds of people access to water, helping farmers grow crops to feed their families and earn extra income from local markets. Water can also be used by families for drinking and washing.