Families using permaculture training to improve nutrition and household incomes
World Vision’s Australian-funded Permaculture Project is supporting families in four provinces of Sri Lanka to establish organic gardens, securing access to food, increasing livelihoods and protecting the environment. For women like Krishanthi and Mallika, the gardens are a vital source of income and nutrition for their children.
Two-year-old Chamodhya puts her tiny hands into a can to scoop out some water. She’s a busy little girl as helping her mother water the garden is quite a task. After all, the home-based patch is packed with fruit and vegetables. Her mother, Krishanthi, laughs, saying: “My garden has chillies, okra, beans, aubergines, bitter gourds, oranges, papayas, mangoes, bananas… Shall I go on?” The 30-year-old started growing her lush garden thanks to World Vision’s Permaculture Project, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The project establishes sustainable, eco-friendly agriculture using local resources and technology to improve farmers’ quality of life.
“After my oldest daughter joined the sponsorship program, World Vision gave me some coconut, jackfruit and mango saplings as a start,” explains Krishanthi. “I’d studied agriculture before, so I was happy to start my own home garden.”
Living in the next village is Mallika, another proud owner of a thriving domestic garden. “I knew a little bit about gardening, but I didn’t know how to do it systematically,” says the 38-year-old. “I’ve learned how to look after a plant nursery, make organic weed-killers and fertilisers and organise the garden properly.”