Arminda Pererira Plans for the Future

Arminda Pererira Plans for the Future

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CARE works with poor families in Timor Leste to help them grow their own crops, improve their diet, sell surplus crops for a profit and store their seeds for the next season.

Take the example of Arminda Pererira, a mother of six children between the ages of 4 and 17 and a member of a women’s farmer group. Her involvement with CARE taught her agricultural techniques that will help her plan for the future.

I have learned many things, before we planted with no order. Now, we know how to plant properly, space the crops and prepare the land. We can make our own organic fertilizer, which saves money, and we learned how to compost.

-Arminda Pererira 

The new farming methods and seed varieties introduced by CARE have resulted in a dramatic increase in production. The families now have enough vegetables to eat all year round and can sell the surplus at the market to earn an income.

The impact that Arminda’s group is having extends beyond the members and their families to the rest of the community. After each harvest, the group stores a drum of seeds, which are available to members of the community who have not had a successful harvest. This practice is a traditional method in the community and has been successfully integrated into CARE’s project to avoid embarrassment to those families asking for assistance.

Having seen the powerful difference her group has made in the community, Arminda humbly acknowledges her role as the group’s leader, saying, “We produce more than before because we work as a group and it reduces the burden. An individual cannot achieve as much in the same time as a group can.”

 Arminda is passing on her hard work ethic and positive attitude to her children. “I expect my children to be leaders,” she says with a smile. “It’s important because then they can change their lives.”