This is my mom, Ida Lina Semedo Da Veiga, with my baby brother, Eder. My sister Elida, who is in the background, is 15 and epileptic and can't go to school. Mom doesn't live with us because she works as a cleaner in the city, a two-hour bus ride from our village. She lives with my brother and sister in a squatter camp on the outskirts of the city.
Today is my mom's day off. That's when she comes up to the village. We are always very excited to see her.
When she goes back to town tomorrow, she wants to take me along for a check-up at the hospital. She is worried about my tummy aches because my father died of appendicitis when I was a baby.
Normally, Ruth and I prepare dinner, but today mom wants to spoil us.This is our home, which was built by my grandmother years ago. Recently the local authorities gave us some money from the Solidarity Fund for the Poor to build a door and a window and repair the roof, which was leaking.
My grandmother, sister and I sleep together in the same room and we do the cooking outdoors in the back garden. We have no electricity, so I try and do my homework in the daylight. When we have to keep something cold, we leave it with the neighbours who have a fridge.
Off to school
I walk to school early in the morning with my sister. It takes about 40 minutes, and when we get there, around 7:30, breakfast is waiting for us. The food given to us at school is thanks to two UN agencies.
The World Food Programme provides the basic ingredients, such as oil, pinto beans, flour, rice and canned meat. Then, we get fresh fruit and vegetables from our TeleFood garden, which I am going to show you.
My school day
My school day goes something like this: I have breakfast when I arrive, usually camoca, pancakes made of corn flour, with a glass of milk or water. Then lessons. I really enjoy studying.
We often spend time in our TeleFood garden. That's how I get to learn about growing things. I love working in the school garden.After lunch, which we prepare and serve in school, we have two more lessons and then we go home.
Our TeleFood garden
This is our pride and joy - our garden. FAO has helped us to create this garden so we can have fresh fruit and vegetables with our lunch.
The money for the irrigation system and the seeds came from FAO's TeleFood programme, where people around the world contribute to small projects. Our school doesn't have money to buy vegetables, so if it wasn't for the garden we'd have none at all.
Without Raimundo, in his sailor's hat, we'd be lost. He is a retired farmer and helps us with gardening, planting and harvesting. He lives close to the school and can keep an eye on the garden. Sometimes thieves try to come in and steal our vegetables.
Benefits from TeleFood
Here, we are planting potatoes. You can see the tubes for drip irrigation in each furrow. Thanks to TeleFood paying for the irrigation system, we will be able to grow food most of the year. We also grow tomatoes, onions, peppers, carrots, cabbage, bananas and pawpaw.
Our teacher explains to us why fresh vegetables are so important in our diets.
Sometimes we sell produce to the local community. With the income the school can buy meat, fish and vegetables at the end of the dry season when the wells dry up and we have no more water to irrigate the garden.
After school I fetch drinking water from a clean spring. Ruth gets water for cooking and washing at another spring close to the house. Then we clean the house and start preparing dinner.
Usually we prepare rice and beans. We make sure there is enough for grandmother's breakfast and lunch the next day.After the cooking we do our homework, and if there is time left we go out and play with the children next door.
This is our village shop. There isn't much for sale and not many people have money to buy.
Sometimes we buy pinto, a type of bean which is very common here. We usually buy on credit and, when my mother can afford to, she pays the bill. She earns about 5 000 escudos (60 US dollars) per month but is trying to earn some extra money washing clothes for other people.
Our meals at home are very simple, but we get lots of extra vitamins at school from the vegetable and fruit gardens.
Next year Ruth and I will move on to secondary school. I hope my mother can afford it because I'd like to become a teacher.
Primary school is free, but in high school we have to pay a small fee. They don't provide food either and I don't know whether any of the secondary schools have school gardens. If not, I will tell them about the TeleFood Fund. I am sure the children would enjoy working in the school garden and eating fresh fruit and vegetables every day.