Nutrition Garden

Nutrition Garden for Healthier Children

An Indonesian proverb says, “If you are shy of asking questions, you will get lost in your way”. It means that there is no need to be ashamed, asking to somebody who knows better than you. Yohana Kurniati (25 years old), usually called Mama Yo, always remembers the proverb. She comes from Ponto Ara Village, Lambor Sub-district, an assisted area of Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) – West Manggarai Area Program in East Nusa Tenggara Province.

Mama Yo is also one of the participants of Nutrition Garden, held by WVI, who gets information about the making of organic fertilizer, vegetable seedling nursery and double bed digging from Yustina Setia, the wife of Village Head as well as a member of the Family Welfare and Improvement Team.

"I never participated in Nutrition Garden trainings due to my activities in the field. However, I had a commitment to make vegetable beds in my yard. Not participating in the trainings does not mean you cannot practice it,” Mama Yo said. She is interested in many kinds of vegetables grow in the garden of Yustina. So, Mama Yo decided to ask some information to Yustina. “I didn’t feel a sense of shame about learning of vegetable farming techniques from Mama Desa (Yustina, Village Head’s wife).  Besides, I got vegetable seeds of spinach, pakcoy, carrots, long beans from Mama Desa.” She continued that after getting the seeds, her husband made organic fertilizer and built beds for their vegetable garden. “Both of us have different role. I have to find the bamboo for the beds, plant the seeds, and stir the fertilizer," Mama Yo said about her task.

Mama Yo does not hesitate to ask information that is useful for her and the entire family. “Now, I can save money Rp20,000 (USD 1,5). I don’t need transportation cost to go to the market to buy some vegetables. The saving can be used to buy fishes and eggs.”  In front of her house there is a vegetable garden, full of carrots, long beans, and pakcoy. “It also makes our home greener,” she said with smile.

The Nutrition Garden activity contributes to the change of dietary habits meal pattern of Mama Yo’s family, especially her baby, Oktaviana (9 months old).  In July 2018, her weight increases 800 ounces after eating more nutritious food from the garden. “I am feeding by baby porridge, mixed with small pieces of vegetables. Her weight increases every month.”

As a cadre of integrated health post (posyandu), Mama Yo attends the posyandu activity regularly, every month. She suggests the mothers in Ponto Ara Village to join this activity including the Nutrition Garden program. She hopes that all of them should maintain the process of children growth and development, especially in the aspect of nutritional fulfillment.

“Thank you to Wahana Visi Indonesia which has helped and assisted us so that our children can grow healthier,” Mama Yo closed the conversation.

Written by: Gloriana Seran, Wahana Visi Indonesia, Area Program of West Maggarai