The adventure has begun for thirteen participants, four of them from Manitoba, as the Canadian Foodgrains Bank's (CFGB) learning tour to Nepal arrived safely in Kathmandu Sunday.
Golden West's Betty Sawatzky is on the learning tour, and after three flights and nearly 24 hours in the air, she along with the group is in the country's capital getting set to head out for the first part of the expedition. Last week, we had Betty in our studios to talk about the two plus week adventure she is on with people from across Canada. The goal is to learn about the food insecurity the people of Nepal are facing, and how CFGB supported projects are helping to address that hunger.
Before getting on the plane in Toronto to Dubai, Betty spoke with Gordon Janzen, the Manitoba and Northwest Ontario Regional rep for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
"The population in Nepal is quite different from the population in Canada," he shared. "There's a lot more people that live closer, I would say, on the poverty scale. There's a lot more marginal land people live on, and the population is large in a small area, with 30 million people in Nepal right now."
Janzen noted the Nepalese people live in only 2/3 of the country, because the northern third is high mountains.
"Then you have a strip of middle mountains, where people live and farm, and then the Terai, which is the lowlands," he explained. "There's better agriculture there, so we're going to see how people farm, and how they deal with food needs in a place where there's a lot of people and a lot of demands."
Janzen reflected on the importance of sharing the stories of the food insecurity in Nepal, and the groups trying to address it.
"At Foodgrains Bank, often we say we work at issues of hunger and food security, because we are all made in God's image," he said. "That means everyone deserves to have enough food, and we want everyone to have enough food to grow, to be the best person God has made us to be wherever we live in this world."
The group is completing its in-country orientation today, before heading west to visit an MCC project in the Dhusel region that's providing agricultural training to women and children to improve nutrition.
- With files from Betty Sawatzky -
You can listen to Betty's conversation with Gordon Janzen, below.