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Sowing seeds of change

On World Food Day, discover how a garden is changing Borisut’s life.

Borisut and his mother in their garden

Today is World Food Day.

How often have you looked in your cupboard and thought ‘I’ve got nothing to eat?’ I know I’ve been guilty of this when faced with an array of ill matched left over ingredients on the day before I go shopping, but it’s certainly never the case. 795 million people in our world aren’t so fortunate. Having nothing to eat is just that, no food at all.

Hunger is one of the key indicators of poverty in children. The United Nations (UN) estimates that 146 million children in developing countries are underweight as a result of acute or chronic hunger. This has a massive impact on a child’s physical and cognitive development. Imagine trying to concentrate at school when your tummy is empty or having the strength to gather firewood or collect water when you lack energy due to poor nutrition. 

At Compassion we know there are many obstacles that make healthy living a challenge in the communities where we work. Compassion’s RESPOND Initiative is just one way that Compassion is working to equip children and families with the resources they need to address the problems affecting their health and physical well-being. Through Health Response, Compassion is able to provide additional food and nutritional supplements to malnourished children, establish large-scale feeding programmes in areas affected by famine and drought and offer community education to prevent malnutrition.

RESPOND in action

Borisut by a fruit tree

Seven-year-old Borisut lives in a rural community in the Northwest of Thailand. Unlike previous generations, no-one in the village grows their own produce  which means all the food needs to be imported. This is extremely expensive and has negative health implications. Borisut and his brother often suffered from fevers and rashes because of the chemicals and pesticides used on the fruit and vegetables. Due to the high cost of food, the family struggled to provide nutritious meals.

Thanks to a Compassion RESPOND Initiative, things have changed for Borisut and his family. The project which Borisut attends started a programme to teach the children and their caregivers how to plant and grow their own food. Using organic methods, a garden was planted at the project. Borisut and his family learned about different types of fruit and vegetables, how to grow and care for the plants and also planted a garden. They were taught about water storage and conservation so their garden didn’t fail during the summer months. Borisut’s garden is now green all year round. The project also helped with income generation by setting up a stall in the local market where the families can take their extra produce to sell. Borisut’s mother and father, along with other caregivers take it in turns to run the stall.  

From small seeds a huge change is growing and spreading throughout the whole community. With the knowledge and tools they need, Borisut and his family can now grow their own healthy food and share their skills and produce with their friends and neighbours.

Watch our new film about how Compassion is fighting famine in Kenya.

To help more children like Borisut, you can donate to RESPOND here.

WORDS : Emily Laramy

PHOTOS : Jonathan Suwaratana

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