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Asma and her garden dream

A woman picking up a squash from a plant

Asma showing her courgettes

Asma showing her courgettes

Asma Moqbel is a 35-year-old housewife and a mother of three children from the village of Muharib in Sama district, Taiz governorate. The people of Muharib have been suffering from a lack of access to water and nutritious foods given the remote location of their village.

“Because of the roughness of the roads, distance to the markets and a lack of transportation, it used to be very difficult to get vegetables,” says Asma. “Poverty and a lack of water in the community has led to malnutrition, in particular for women and children.”

With funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), CARE implemented a project in Taiz aiming to meet the immediate needs of vulnerable households, promoting recovery of livelihoods, and improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. As well as constructing water tanks to improve sanitation and hygiene, vegetable seeds and farm tools were given to selected households like Asma’s.

“The day  I waschosen among the project beneficiaries was incredible,” says Asma, still disbelieving. “I would have a water tank and a garden, just like I used to imagine. I couldn’t believe it would actually become a reality. That night I sat down with my husband and the rest of the family and talked about everything – we wondered how the project would work, and what our roles would be.”

The CARE team returned to Asma’s village some days later to see where the water tank and garden would be positioned at her house, and they began the construction.

“We worked hard,” she says. “We started by digging and collect stones, and we were motivated and encouraged by the idea that we would soon have a water tank. The last working day was a ceremony for the entire family.”

After the tank was constructed, CARE helped Asma and her family to prepare for the garden. An engineer trained the family in composting – showing them how to make clean fertiliser, then they were given agricultural equipment.

“It was a beautiful day,” says Asma. “CARE gave us the seeds and I planted them – courgettes, tomatoes, peppers, watercress and parsley. They began to grow, and with the water from our tank I saw my garden covered with greenery and beauty. Every morning I enjoyed watering all the plants, enjoying the view of my green garden. I told my husband and my children that I had achieved what I always dreamed of – having a home garden. When the vegetables started to appear we picked them to cook and eat, instead of buying from the market.”

A woman in a black dress and head scarf picking vegetables
Asma in her vegetable garden

“My dream came true thanks to CARE and their team. You’ve given us the hope and optimism that we had lost, and taught us how to rely on ourselves again. Now we can eat what we plant with our hands. Thank you.”

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