Monday, December 8, 2008

My Name is Kaamaylaa: Presentation at Visva Bharati

My name is Kaamaylaa.
The name of my project is Sreehasani [sic]. Sreehasani means "Creative manual skills for self-reliance".

I have been working for 10 years in 9 villages (3 Muslim, 3 Hindu and 3 Santhal Villages) in 3 communities. The villages are Saatt tore, Khiruli, Kendradangal with Muslim community; Taltore, Darposhila, Baadh baubo with Hindu community; Baansh pukur, Kauaayte pukur, Bidya dharpur with Santhal community.

Our objective has been to create awareness, mainly about:
Nutrition related organic farming in household garden patch,
through several group-oriented activities.

Our main activities for Nutrition related organic gardening, has been:

a) To support 15 families in each village, to start nutrition related vegetable garden, through organic farming.
b) To become aware nutritional value in vegetables.
c) To cook nutritional vegetables and gain knowledge about several recipes of nutritional values of such vegetables.

My main responsibility is to look into the nutritional factor. When I first met the mothers in the community, they were not even aware of the word "Nutrition." I showed them pictures of vegetables with their nutritional values and discussed about nutrition. They learned about the components of Sugar, Proteins, Vitamins, Fat, Iron, Salt and Water in vegetables. For example, they came to know about 6 divisions of Vitamins... A, B, C, D, E, and K.

The groups learned to cook 35 varieties of nutritional vegetable recipes. They also learned to cook 2 or 3 oil free recipes.

The groups learned the names of the vegetables that were grown in their organic vegetable garden and trained to plant herbal trees for medicine purposes on the bamboo fences of their houses.

Most of the families had Papaya trees in their garden, but the papayas on the tree were mostly wasted. The groups were trained to make food like Haaluwa and Morobba with papaya. Now these trained groups come to the center and train other new groups.

So far, awareness of vegetable organic gardening and nutrition has spread among 200 households in the nine villages.
There are now about 200 organic vegetable gardens in the nine villages.
The groups now have the knowledge about nutrition and can discuss with others about the good qualities and nutritional values of organic vegetables in the garden.

Photo by Brenda Gael McSweeney