Nineteen-year-old Edis* is doing his year of service in agriculture at NPH Bolivia. June 4, 2018 - Bolivia
“We are going to plant a lot of fruits and vegetables as soon as dry season starts.”
Edis* is really excited today. Because yesterday, for the first time in his life, he saw a pig give birth - 16 piglets in total! Edis is one of our young men doing his year of service in NPH Bolivia – children raised by NPH working a year in the home to contribute to their family and be an example for younger ones.
Every youngster at NPH who finishes high school and wants to study afterwards at university does a year of service. They can choose a field of work in which they are interested in or in which they already have experience.
Edis’ choice was easy; his father worked as a farmer, so he has known farms since a young age. “It is kind of my roots,” he explains. When Edis was little his father died and his mum made desperate efforts to care for him and his four siblings, but it unfortunately proved to be too much a struggle. So the five children joined the NPH family in 2005.
“I am fascinated by animals and plants,” Edis continues. But working in agriculture is not easy. The work depends a lot on the weather and the season. “For example, now in rainy season we cannot plant a lot. On the contrary, in dry season we plant and care for yucca, peanuts, rice, onions, corn, carrots, salad, cucumbers and fruits. Maintaining all these plants is challenging. At the moment we have to buy fruits and vegetables, but later in the year we will have months where we only eat our vegetables.”
Apart from the farm, the agriculture team is also responsible for the meat stock. In the past, Edis* and others received training where they learned from local experts about anything they would need to know regarding animals. For example, how to treat a sick cow, what to feed them, which vitamins they need, etc. Together with his co-worker, a studied agronomist, he is now checking in on the animals.
As well as cows, at NPH Bolivia we have our own sheep and pigs too. Edis explains with pride: “Our future goal is to have only our own grown meat and no need to buy meat from the market.”
Additionally, we have our own fish pond, and feeding the fish is part of Edis’ work. Every other week, multiple older boys and employees go fishing. Last week, they caught more than 700 fish! “A lot of them are for NPH, but some of them we sell, too.” Afterwards, a big lunch for everybody at NPH Boliva is prepared and served by Edis and his colleagues: “I am proud to know that all these people are eating food I have fished and prepared.”
Edis was always one of the best students in high school. He loves numbers and wants to study civil engineering. He is really thankful about the work experience in agriculture because he is sure in the future it will be useful for him. But he wants to work in something ‘bigger’, gain a better job. “I am thankful that as a child of the NPH family, I have the possibility to start a carrier but I will never forget where I came from … a small farm.”
*Name changed for privacy purposes.
Carina Eckl Communication Officer
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson