Um Thabat struggle
Um Thabat Ali is one of the beneficiaries of homestead garden, supported by BRACED in South Darfur, Sudan, an activity implemented by CONCERN in partnership with Almassar, a National NGO. Before 10 years ago Um Thabat was of the pastoralists women who rove with their animals, and her household was dependent on livestock as the means of livelihood. Currently she is one of the settled pastoralists in Alsad alali, with hope to enable their children access education. In Alsadalali, she live with her 8 children (3 boys and 5 girls), all the boys are in school in Um Seyala, while none of the girls is in school, due to distance. Her husband is disabled.
In Alsad alali, besides raising animals mainly sheep, they started practicing farming, they grow mainly millet and sorghum and okra, in the rainy season.
Um Thabat describes how she was selected and received training on homestead garden and the benefits from the growing the vegetables.
In August 2016, the village Sheikh informed her to go for training on homestead garden, organized by Almassar. She and other women from the villages received trained on how to prepare farming plot and undertake the vegetable farming , the training included selecting land, digging, leveling, bund making, digging of irrigation channel , seeds broadcasting, and irrigation. The training period was 3 days, for first time I learn these vegetable farming techniques She stated.
She received vegetable seeds, included watercress and Moulokia, onion, radish, Okra, rigla, eggplant, tomatoes cucumber and water melons. She and other trained women also received farming tools, included spades, rakes, and water sprayers. The trained women divided into 4 groups, and Um Thabat is head of her group.
Vegetable production is new for the pastoral women, for first time she grown these vegetables. Now we are much better than before, we have vegetables, we diversify our meal, in the past we depend only on Asida with sauce of dry Okra she said.
The vegetable produce contributed significantly in her family diet; one day when I made sauce from the green from my farm, one of my son said Mam, today, the sauce is delicious, we need such sauce, again said Um Thabat. One day her husband said your sauce, today, is better than sauce that I ate in the market she said.
Um Thabat also reported that, as the result of consuming green, she noticed change in the health condition of her children their blood increased and good health she said.
In next year, Um Thabat plan to start the farming early, and would like to increase the area from 10 plots (grown by Khudra, rigla and Okra) to 15 plots, and she also would like to grow more vegetable crops (tomatoes, eggplant and green paper) for sale. She intend to use the cash from vegetable sales in treatment of her children, when one sick, and pays the schools fees and buy farming inputs for increasing the vegetable production.