HARVESTING HAPPINESS

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Nadeeka is an enterprising young mother of two who lives in rural Mausirigama in Hambantota. In order to provide for her household needs as well as put food on the table, Nadeeka toils at her vegetable cultivation all day long. She grows ground nuts, eggplants, tomatoes and chillies in an acre of land, while her husband is a paddy farmer. With two children to feed and two elderly parents to care for, Nadeeka’s day is a long one.

Nadeeka’s vegetable plots are a long way from the nearest stream and watering the crops was a tedious task for her. Even though she desperately needed an irrigation system, Nadeeka did not have adequate resources to purchase it as the prices of vegetables are constantly fluctuating in the local markets. This is when LEADS came to her assistance. Through its presence in the Hambantota area, LEADS came to know the plight of these rural farmers who live in villages that are often affected by long spells of drought. Nadeeka was among several rural farmers who received assistance to purchase an overhead irrigation system to help them along in their livelihoods.

“Before I received your assistance, I would borrow pipes from the neighbours and dig out drains in order to water the crops.” Nadeeka heaves a heavy sigh recalling the time and energy that she spent daily. “I would wait a long time for the drains to fill with water. Thanks to the irrigation system that I received from LEADS, I now need to only open the faucet and I can help my children with their schoolwork while the plants are watered.” Despite her financial difficulties, Nadeeka has managed to save some of her earnings and with these earnings she has constructed a better home for her children. “I have no words to express how much your help means to me! I hope to develop this cultivation so that I can educate my two children well.”

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