It’s the time of year when a lot of my favourite development blogs release articles highlighting worthy practices, organisations and other things that they have come across throughout the year. This year, I thought I would do the same.

Of course, I am a part of an organisation called Empower. And the reason I became involved in Empower is because of their philosophy of building self reliance through developing skills (among other things). As part of my radio work this year I came across a program by Helen Keller International that seeks to do much the same. It’s called Homestead Food Production, and it’s main target is the malnutrition caused by sky rocketing food prices.

The Homestead Food Production Programme creates community gardens which serve to both train, and provide raw materials for women to create their own gardens. These individual gardens provide essential nutrients – especially during pregnancy and the critical first few years of life, as well as a source of income and empowerment for the women. The success stories range from weight gain, to reductions in stunting and mental health issues, and even changing perceptions of women’s role in society.

This is my interview with Jennifer Nielsen, Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health with Helen Keller International: