A vision of success

A vision of success

Nakou (yellow shirt)

Framed by a backdrop of endless hills, Nakou takes a deep breath of cool air and smiles. It's a smile of satisfaction and joy. All around him, villagers are working in their new vegetable patch, tending tomatoes, cabbage and capsicums.

The scene in Nakou's village hasn't always been this idyllic. People used to grow only root crops like taro and kava. They worked hard, but their efforts didn't pay off. Root crops are hard to grow here and even harder to sell; the journey to the market is long and difficult.

Nakou is a visionary. He saw people suffering and made it his mission to find another way – another life for his family and his whole village. It occurred to him that growing vegetables could be easier and more profitable than root crops if only they could make it work.

"In the beginning, because I'm blind in one eye, people were reluctant to follow my idea for backyard gardening," he says. "When we first tried sowing seeds, the plants start to wither, and the food from them was not the quality we expected. The other farmers gave up. But I continued to weed the garden and carry water from the water system that World Vision provided, from one side of the valley to the other side, to water the plants."

Nakou was diligent, but the first harvest wasn't good. It takes more than one person to turn a vision like his into reality. 

Thanks to you, Nakou and his village could start again, this time with expert advice and support. They cleared a promising plot of land and went through training on vegetable gardening. By the first harvest, they were under contract with a buyer who came to the village to pick up all their crops. The vegetables were weighed, paid for and shipped to Port Vila for sale to resorts and restaurants.

Mass, a 47-year-old grandmother, said while smiling, "I am so happy! I no longer have to rely solely on kava and taro to provide an income for my family."

Your support has changed Nakou's life forever. Nakou is now a mentor farmer, helping six other villages with their vegetable gardens. He says, "We've all agreed that the money we made from the first sale will go towards buying more seeds. Then we'll expand our garden area so we'll be able to earn more from the gardens and provide a healthy range of food for our children and families."

Thank you for helping Nakou and his village to grow vegetables and provide for their families long term.