In a rural community in Timor-Leste, mother-of-six Sidonia is planting seeds for change. As part of a growing woman-led movement focused on building a resilient future through farming, Sidonia is cultivating her own crops to protect her family’s nutrition and livelihood. And she is on a mission to empower more women in her close-knit community in Lautem Municipality to do the same.
“I really want to encourage more women to get involved in this farming group and start cultivating their own food because our land is very fertile,” she says. “We shouldn’t be consuming imported products all the time as they contain harmful chemicals.”
Located in a remote, mountainous region, Sidonia’s community is vulnerable to the effects of climate change including drought, earthquakes, flash flooding, and storms. In her community and many others across Timor-Leste, agricultural productivity has in the past been low and many families often face food scarcity. More than 70 per centof the population of Timor-Leste depend on rain-fed agriculture as a main source of income.
ChildFund Timor-Leste is working with its local partners to support Sidonia and other women in her community to grow nutritious vegetable farms that are adaptable to the impacts of climate change. ChildFund provided training and all the essential tools and resources, including vegetable seeds, water tanks, ladders, and plastic tunnels, needed to become a successful farmer. Through the project, Sidonia learnt how to grow a range of vegetables, including green mustard, cabbage, onions, lettuces, eggplant, and spinach.
I really want to encourage more women to get involved in this farming group and start cultivating their own food because our land is very fertile. We shouldn’t be consuming imported products all the time as they contain harmful chemicals.
But Sidonia’s farm is providing more than just healthy, nourishing food for her and her children; a surplus of crops is helping to sustain her household financially, specifically the costs of sending her children to school. As part of her training, Sidonia learnt how to best monetise her harvest to generate extra income. “I plant the vegetables mostly for my family’s daily consumption, but if we have more than enough we usually sell them to earn some money,” she says. “The crop results are always great, and we have harvested many times.”
Sidonia says her newfound sisterhood of farmers is helping to bolster the wider community. “When we sell the vegetables to other people, even to our neighbours, it means we are contributing to the local economy.”
Sidonia is a passionate farmer and inspiring leader, spearheading positive and sustainable change in her community. She hopes that more women can create their own farming groups and learn more about the benefits of growing local, nutritious food. “After all,” she says, “we women are keyholders in the family because we prepare the food.”
Tracking down meaningful gifts on a budget can be stressful – that’s where we come in.
Feeling the extra pinch this year? You’re not alone. With the rising cost of living, many of us are looking to curb spending money on expensive or material gifts. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a tonne to make an impression. Charitiable gifts can help you save money, time and spread Christmas cheer to children and families living in poverty around the world.
Don’t know where to start? We’re here to help! Ahead, you’ll find inexpensive charitable gift ideas that won’t break the bank (but will make the world of difference to children and their families).
Easy, affordable and charitable gift ideas for holiday giving
Our catalogue of Gifts for Good is packed full of budget-friendly and ethical gifts that improve the lives of others and bring meaning to our own. There’s something to suit every price point and interest. Is your friend an animal lover? Gift a dozen chickens; their eggs give children a daily dose of vital nutrients and can help provide a steady inco.me for families in poor communities.
Here are a few more life-saving essentials that you can gift vulnerable children – all under $50!
Fight child hunger with a lasting source of delicious and nutritious food.
Make a donation on behalf of someone you care about
One-off donations are a great way to tailor your charity gift to individual interests and issues that matter most to the people you care about, while staying within your gifting budget. You can choose specific events or campaigns, such as emergency relief efforts or holiday fundraisers.
ChildFund supports a number of emergencies and important causes that you can get behind. Your donation – big or small – will help us respond to urgent needs in a timely manner. You can donate to:
This holiday make a donation on behalf of someone you care about
Wondering whether charitable contributions are gifts? Absolutely! One-off donations are a great way to tailor your charity gift to acknowledge issues that matter most to the people you care about, while staying within your gifting budget. You can choose specific events or campaigns, such as emergency relief efforts or holiday fundraisers.
Start a fundraiser and tell everyone about it!
Instead of searching for the perfect inexpensive gift, why not do something different and encourage your loved ones to join you in a fundraiser that supports a cause or charity close to your heart?
Setting up a donation page is an effective and easy way to raise funds and spread awareness about issues affecting children in poverty. You can make your holiday money go further by creating aFacebook Fundraiserto help keep children stay healthy, safe and have the childhood they need. You can also create a ‘donate’ button on Instagram or a GoFundMe page. Just remember to share the link with friends, families and even strangers – the more the merrier!
Hosting a Christmas themed trivia or a movie night is another great fundraising option. It’s a fun and low-cost way to spend time with friends and family while raising money for an important cause of your choosing. You can register your event here.
Think outside the box this festive season
There are plenty of creative and meaningful ways to show your love and appreciation for those closest to you without hurting your wallet.
No matter your budget, you can find great charitable gifts to give this year (you’ll also boost your tax returnfor next year). After all, every dollar counts in helping children and their families and communities.