More than 3500 children and women benefit from Save the Children’s livelihood support in Abyei.
Funded by European Union Humanitarian Aid, Save the Children distributed vegetable seeds to Mary and more than 600 others through the Mother-to-Mother support group that benefitted more than 3000 children.
Mary goes back home after harvesting nutritious vegetables from one of the women to women support group farms. More Contents here. Photo. Ezibon Saadalla/Save the Children
Mary, 53, is among many mothers trained by Save the Children on Kitchen Gardening. She has set up a beautiful yielding kitchen garden at her home to support her dieting which has seen reduced cases of acute malnutrition in children in Abyei by 60%. Now, Mary among other women in Abyei is harvesting her vegetables. At home they eat and sell part of their harvest to sustain a living.
Mary is among many other families who fled their homes in Agok, Abyei Administrative Area to seek safety in a nearby village. During the recent conflict in Abyei, Mary’s house was destroyed and she lost her livelihood. She fled without anything to sustain her family. In her new place of displacement, Mary is taking care of fourteen children including her grandchildren.
With the poor living condition, Mary said, her children’s living conditions deteriorated and that she almost lost one of her grandchildren to malnutrition.
In 2021, Save the Children started to give Mary monthly emergency support such as soaps, sugar, and flour. Mary was also given vegetation seeds that is helping her to improve her family’s livelihood.
Save the Children provides free health services to Mary and others living in Abyei to reduce the high rate of diseases and malnutrition among those living in the area.
Mary's story in her own words (Quotes):
“My grandchildren used to suffer from acute malnutrition due to lack of a balanced diet, my daughter almost lost her child due to poor feeding habits but through mother-to-mother support group counselling and training, I managed to rescue my family. It’s now more than 6 months and none of my family members have been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. “We planted vegetables like okra, eggplants, sukuma, local vegetables which are good for both pregnant mothers, children and us elders, which improves our health and sight, said Mary”
Abyei Special Administrative Area has recently been affected by communal violence and conflict. Many termed Agok town a Ghost town as you move around it. Houses and livelihoods were destroyed. Because of these, malnutrition has been a daily case reported in many health facilities.
Many mothers in the community especially those displaced by the conflict have expressed interest in joining the group but due to a lack of gardening tools and seeds they now co-share in order to plant vegetables for their family.
Written by Ezibon Saadalla and Edited by Tito Justin - Save the Children