The village of Fatolia is a little out of the way. To get to this little village in the hills of East Timor, the rough and slippery road heads east from the sub-district town of Venilale. But it is here, people are rebuilding their lives. For more than a generation, the people of Fatolia have lived without a sacred house. The original sacred house was burned by Indonesian troops in 1976. At that time, the local population ran away to the hills, and were dependent on scavenging wild foods to survive. But the community is now rebuilding the sacred house as well as finding new ways to grow more food.

 The sacred house of Fatolia, almost ready to be inaugurated.

 Seeds of Life has worked with the villagers of Fatolia for 5 years now. Senora Edvises da Sosa was one of the first to test the new sweet potato varieties in 2004. She has grown the new varieties of sweet potato Hohrae 1, Hohrae 2 and Hohrae 3, ever since. The attractive tubers of the Hohrae 1 almost sell themselves. They are large tubers that are very white in color. They are used not just to boil and fry, but local cooks have discovered they are very suitable to make chips and sweet snacks.

Not only has she been able to sell the tubers of the varieties, but the cuttings as well. World Vision has recently bought 500 stems from her, allowing her to make a tidy profit of $50. That will help get her 4 kids off to school.  From the financial success of the new varieties, she has been able to upgrade the roof of her house from a leaky thatched roof, to a new water proof iron roof.  This is great in the wet season, when the skies open up and rain pours down every afternoon.

Senora Edvises da Sousa