Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Kellyville

Project Compassion 2015: growing food for life in Fiji


Project Compassion 2015 Story
Eric and Ma outside their chicken coop. Photo: Andrew Garrick & Drew Morrison

Married couple Eric and Ma had an unprofitable farm and limited diet before training at the Tutu Rural Training Centre, supported by Caritas Australia. Now they have a successful farm, a sustainable income and food for life.

Comprised of more than 300 islands, life in Fiji's rural communities can be isolated. Throughout the country youth unemployment is high, nutritious food is in short supply, and life expectancy is much lower than in Australia.

Eric and Ma credit the Married Couples Course at the Tutu Rural Training Centre for changing the direction of their lives and giving them the personal and agricultural skills they needed to raise a healthy, happy family and grow food for life.

The course empowered the couple to participate fully in making decisions about their future.

“The program at Tutu has truly enriched us and opened a new pathway for us where we have been able to prosper safely in life,” says Eric.

Tutu runs courses to teach people from the remote northern islands of Fiji the skills they need to build strong relationships, maintain healthy families and become successful farmers.

For 25 years, Eric and Ma have worked hard to establish a farm that provides a sustainable food source for life and an ongoing income stream that has allowed them to raise and educate their six children, who are now raising families of their own.

Before Tutu, Eric worked hard on the family’s farm, but his labour was unprofitable. “We didn’t know how to manage a farm,” says Eric.

After their training at Tutu, the farm now flourishes. Most of the family’s daily food is grown in their own fields. Growing their own food helps the family avoid the serious health problems that many Fijians experience due to a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in their diets.

“I think we were blessed to be part of the program in Tutu. Tutu opened a new door for us. Without Tutu we wouldn’t be here where we are now,” says Eric. “And it’s only possible thanks to you wonderful people of Australia.”

Yes, you can make a real difference. Together we can help the poorest of the poor live a life of dignity. We can help them become self-sufficient so they don’t need to rely on charity. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible. Make a donation to Project Compassion here.

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