By DR. JULIA NEWTON-HOWES
Could you tell a mother like Bophu to wait a year before you can help her provide her daughters with healthy, nutritious food all year around?
No, nor could I. But we might have to.
Bophu and her husband Lojeuw live in the remote mountains of northern Laos with their two daughters – two-year-old Teuyu* and Dupeu* who is less than a month old.
Foreign aid is helping them and other families around the world to lift themselves out of poverty and to give their daughters a chance at a life that we take for granted for our children.
My work as CEO of CARE Australia has brought me into the homes of families living in developing countries like Malawi, Timor-Leste and Myanmar.
This week, I’m in Laos visiting families like Bophu and Lojeuw’s who only have rice soup to feed their little girls.
They spend every day harvesting rice and collecting food from the forest that surrounds their one-room home. For a period of up to four months every year however, they completely run out of rice and money and depend on relatives to share their food.
As the Government prepares for the 2013 budget on May 14, I’m asking both sides of the political divide to remember the millions of families like Bophu’s who are counting on us.