The onions from Steven Bare’s garden in the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea bring more smiles than tears. He’s thrilled to harvest another bumper crop.
Steven and his wife Maria have turned their family’s fortunes around since taking part in an Oxfam project that helps rural farmers improve the quality and quantity of their bulb onions.
Steven says, “In the past, we spent time in the gardens, but not as seriously as what we are doing today. When we got our heads together and started this group, Oxfam introduced the bulb onions to help us move forward. Oxfam funded the project, and with this came a lot of good things and change.”
Thanks to you, business is booming for Steven and the other families in his farming co-op.
“We became more engaged with this work and it has affected our way of thinking and working. We now have set aims and goals. Oxfam gave us bulb onion seeds. With this, our lives have changed a lot.
“This will be the third harvest. We distribute the income equally amongst the four families. With the second harvest’s sales, we put the money into school fees and invested more in bulb onions.”
The father of four daughters says, “In the past, we never thought we could live this type of life, living well … simply because we had no money. We did not have good things that make up a house, like nice plates, cups, mattresses, and pillows and blankets. But when Oxfam came in, we were introduced to bulb onions and this product brought money, just enough for us to buy what we always wished for.”
With a proud smile, he says, “This is life-changing.
Story originally featured in Oxfam Australia’s Voices July 2019.