“Being hungry and having nothing to eat at home can create many problems in your family.” Balkissa and her husband, Daouda, live with their children in the village of Tolkoboye, near Niger’s capital city, Niamey. The lack of food has often disturbed the family harmony.
To feed their four children, Daouda has often had to leave his family to find work. “I used to travel to other regions in Niger to cultivate land. For a while I worked in the rice paddies and millet fields in Tillabéry. But the drought and infertile soil forced me to cross borders. First to Ghana, to earn money as a dockworker, and then to Nigeria.”
The food assistance Daouda and his family receive allows him to remain with his family and try to make a living by farming. “I don’t have to work abroad anymore. I also don’t need to borrow money from friends or take out a loan. (…) I grow millet and some vegetables for sale at the market. I cultivate my own land that I inherited from my father,” Daouda says proudly. When asked what the family meal means to them, he replies: “Being able to provide a family meal makes me happy and proud. Gathering everyone together to share a meal brings us peace.”