Eh Mwei, her husband Saw, and their four-year-old daughter make their home in a village in Myanmar’s Kayin state.

In Kayin state 17% of people live below the poverty line.  Children and pregnant women suffer from malnutrition.  15% of all children are underweight.  30% of all children suffer from stunting (not developing properly).

Tragically, UNICEF reports that in 2016 alone 46,284 children under five died.

With the generous support of the Canadian government and our donors, ADRA is working in rural communities to save the lives of mothers and children.

The EMBRACE project aims to improve nutrition rates for pregnant mothers and children.

Many Canadians enjoy tending their own gardens.  Planting seeds or seedlings on Victoria Day weekend.  Watching the tiny shoots strive in the sunshine and become blossoms and fruit.  For most of us, this is a pleasure.

For Eh Mwei and her family their garden is a vital means of staving off malnutrition.

Eh Mwei told us that “During the rainy season we would go to the jungle to collect plants that we know are edible.  During the dry season it is more difficult to harvest food from the jungle.  You can still buy vegetables in the market, but it is not the best and it is expensive.  Usually we would not eat much in the way of vegetables during the summer.  We would eat mostly meat and fish during this time.”

We are teaching parents like Eh Mwei and Saw how to grow gardens full of nutritious vegetables.  As many families may not have been able to afford these vegetables and food before the project, we also bring caregivers together at cooking demonstrations so that they can learn how to combine the vegetables into healthy and nutritious meals for their families.

Eh Mwei and Saw created their own kitchen garden outside their home using seeds provided by the project.

Now vegetables high in iron, potassium and vitamins like morning glory, tomatoes, chi qua (an Asian vegetable similar to zucchini), eggplant, and squash all grow in their garden.

Saw said “The vegetables sold at the market are wilted and soft.  The vegetables that we have been growing are full of flavour.  It is so good to know that the foods we are eating are grown without chemicals or pesticides. I have learned about new kinds of vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes, and spinach.  In the training program that we did we learned how to do soil testing, we learned how to make our own fertilizer and how to do composting.  We learned how to plant seed at the right depth for better results, how to start our plants in a nursery.” 

Eh Mwei, Saw, and their daughter appreciate the lessons they have learned.  They now have the grandest garden in their village and share their new knowledge with other families.

Thank you for your ongoing support.