Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Kellyville

Project Compassion 2015: sustainable food for life in West Timor


Vinsen is a farmer living in West Timor, Indonesia. While poor soil quality and erosion meant farming was always difficult for Vinsen, at least the weather was predictable. However, in recent years, weather patterns have become increasingly erratic in Vinsen’s region. In 2010 and 2011, Vinsen’s village was hit by heavy rains and strong winds, which destroyed crops and killed livestock. Incomes plummeted and famine spread throughout the area.

Project Compassion 2015: West Timor
Making herbal tea powder.
Photo: Mie Cornoedus

Wanting to protect his family’s future, Vinsen enrolled in the Sustainable Agriculture Program – an initiative supported by Caritas Australia and run by local partner Yayasan Mitra Tani Mandiri (YMTM).

Respecting the environment and our role as Stewards of Creation, the YMTM Program provides training for farmers and a YMTM representative in each village helps and advises farmers on challenges.

The farmers in Vinsen’s village learnt to terrace their land, helping them to stabilise land against landslide, combat erosion and harness valuable rainfall.

They also learnt how to plant long-term crops in addition to short life-span crops like vegetables, which allows them to build a stable livelihood and survive crop fluctuations and unexpected weather changes.

Since the YMTM Program, Vinsen’s income has increased by 25 per cent and his family now lives without fear of food insecurity.

“Before the program I was very anxious,” says Vinsen.

“But now I do not worry. There is always cassava, banana and taro in the garden. We will not be hungry.”

Vinsen is now passing on his knowledge by training others in his community and encouraging others to take part in the program.

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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