Meet Maile Lama
Name: Maili Lama
Lives in: Lamatole, Hilldevi in Nepal
Maili belongs to the Janjati ethnicity, a marginalized lama ethnic group in Hilldevi, Ramechhap where Tevel has been working since 2013. Married at 16, she has struggled to support her family of 6. She has a small plot of land, but prior to Tevel’s arrival, she was only growing 1-2 staple crops a year, and purchasing vegetables and off-season staples.
Through Tevel’s kitchen garden program, Maili has learned how to build a greenhouse from plastic sheeting and make organic bio-pesticides with animal urine using locally made liquor drums. She is now growing 10 varieties of vegetables for consumption and sale. “Before Tevel came, I had tried to grow vegetables, but I had problems with pests such as aphids, white flies and mildews that I couldn’t control. I worked hard, but didn’t see results. Now using the plastic greenhouses, my yields are much higher, and the liquid bio-pesticide controls the pests. I’m growing enough vegetables to eat twice a day and even have extras like tomatoes to sell in the market. With the money I am making and saving, I can pay for other things we need such as medical care and school tuition.”