Nancy’s belly swells beneath her T-shirt as she leans down to pick a potato from her vegetable plot. The 19-year-old is pregnant with her second child and strokes her bump with a big smile. Nancy has learnt a lot over the last few months about how to give her baby the best start in life and how to provide her family with the best nutrition possible.
This time last year, her two-year-old daughter was suffering from malnutrition and was being treated by Action Against Hunger teams in Liberia’s capital Monrovia. Her baby made a full recovery and remains healthy to this day. Along with other mothers, Nancy was invited to take part in a special scheme to cultivate her very own vegetable garden.
Just a few months later, Nancy now has a very impressive vegetable plot. Her crops stand tall and proud, almost double her height. Action Against Hunger provided Nancy with the seeds, tools and support needed for her crops to prosper and she planted her first vegetable seeds including corn, okra and potatoes.
Nancy also learnt how to create a non-toxic solution to keep insects away, how to enrich her soil with chicken manure and how to create an effective irrigation system. Now her vegetables are blooming, not only is she growing enough to feed herself, her husband and their daughter, but she also has plenty spare to make an income at the local market.
As well as supporting Nancy with her vegetable garden, Action Against Hunger has also helped the family learn about keeping healthy. This has included encouraging the family to sleep under mosquito nets to prevent malaria and to breastfeed her baby for at least the first six months of life.
As Nancy stands beneath her towering crops, stroking her belly and smiling, she looks the picture of content. She knows that she now has what she needs to feed her family and make a living for the future.