HelpAge USA

HelpAge USA, an affiliate of HelpAge International, builds awareness of global aging issues among US audiences; advocates for the empowerment of older, vulnerable adults in the developing world; and raises funds to support the programs of the HelpAge network. The HelpAge vision is of a world in which all older people fulfill their potential to lead dignified, active, healthy and secure lives. HelpAge is driven by a fundamental understanding that older people have the wisdom and the personal drive to contribute to their own wellbeing and to that of their families. We believe that the contribution older people make to society is invaluable. Yet older people remain some of the poorest and ...
May 12, 2014

Thank you for supporting older farmers!

An older woman with her community
An older woman with her community's new water tank

Thank you for your continued and dedicated support toward our project Help older people fight food insecurity in Bolivia.

Since the project first began in November 2011, we have witnessed great strides being made in the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition in some of the poorest areas of rural Bolivia. Over the past two and a half years, this project has successfully achieved the following:

  • The creation of 65 micro irrigation systems serving 396 older people.
  • 350 older people have reaped the benefits of new family gardens growing organic produce.
  • 350 older people have been trained in soil and land management.
  • 1,250 older people have benefitted from farming equipment, seeds and training across 6 municipalities of the Bolivian lowlands.

I would like to advise you that we have reached the project goal, where overall: 1,000 people are benefitting directly from this project; including 200 older people and 800 other family members.

We will therefore discontinue fundraising for this particular project through Global Giving. Your credit card will no longer be charged for this project going forward.

Of course we will continue our groundbreaking, global work; such as helping to rebuild the lives of the older victims following Typhoon Haiyan, and shedding light on the suffering of Syria’s invisible refugees.

Given your interest in supporting some of the most vulnerable older people around the world, please consider making a regular gift to HelpAge. Your ongoing support could give an older person the dignity and independence that they deserve in their later years, as well as allow us to plan and prioritize our efforts around those who need it most.

Please visit www.helpageusa.org and together, let’s ensure that older people continue to lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives.

As both a friend and supporter of HelpAge, we hope you will stay in touch and continue to follow our global work!

Fresh lettuce growing in community plots
Fresh lettuce growing in community plots
Older farmer tending his plot
Older farmer tending his plot
Older woman showing earnings from produce sale
Older woman showing earnings from produce sale
Mar 31, 2014

What happens when you empower older farmers?

Farmers being trained on water resource management
Farmers being trained on water resource management

As you know, food insecurity and malnutrition are rife in the poorer areas of rural Bolivia. Recent food price increases, irregular rainfall and the increased intensity of natural disasters are making the situation even more critical. Indigenous people in rural areas are being particularly affected. Malnutrition costs lives, particularly for older farmers who are more at risk of developing disabilities and chronic ill health – making it almost impossible for them to become self-sustaining, and escape poverty.

Over the past few months, we have been working with local older farmers to help identify suitable locations for food growing gardens where crops have a degree of protection from extreme temperatures including excessive heat and drying winds. Once these have been identified, this program has provided these farmers with equipment for water collection and storage, and most importantly, training on water-efficient irrigation. Through training techniques, this project is raising awareness on good nutrition and hygiene, so that older farmers can protect themselves from developing preventable diseases. For these farmers, and those most in need, we continue to distribute tools and seeds for a varierty of nutritious Bolivian crops.

As interest and awareness about this project is growing, local authorities and media have been invited to learn best-practices to help reduce hunger, to cover more vulnerable communities in rural Bolivia. The inclusion of this knowledge in local authority plans will have lasting benefits beyond those we are currently serving.

Currently, 1,000 people are to benefitting directly from this project; including 200 older people and 800 other family members. The project will continue to focus on reaching the most vulnerable. 

An estimated 35,000 of the poorest people in the targeted municipalities will benefit indirectly from advocacy work. involving educating decision-makers and the wider community about water-efficient irrigation; systems never used before in the region. 

Farmer explaining resource management techniques
Farmer explaining resource management techniques
A home garden: an important source of nutrition
A home garden: an important source of nutrition
A woman eats lunch with vegetables from the garden
A woman eats lunch with vegetables from the garden
One of the water tanks used for irrigation
One of the water tanks used for irrigation

Links:

Oct 18, 2013

You did it!

A Tarabuco villager collects beetroots
A Tarabuco villager collects beetroots

Your donations have helped hundreds of older farmers in Bolivia to provide for themselves, their farms and their families through the following projects that have taken place in Tarabuco, Chuquisaca:

  • 65 micro irrigation systems were provided to serve 396 older people.
  • 350 older people have reaped the benefits of new family gardens growing organic produce.
  • 350 older people were trained in soil and land management.
  • 1,250 older people benefitted from farming equipment, seeds and training across 6 municipalities of the Bolivian lowlands.

The micro irrigation systems implimented by the program have improved the lives of older people living in Tarabuco, Chuquisaca in numerous ways. Not only do the older people now have access to a safe, clean supply of drinking water, both for themselves and their livestock, but it has allowed 70 family gardens to be irrigated. In turn, these gardens are providing the local communty with fresh, nutritious produce, which grow both traditional crops such as potatoes and maize, but also allow new types of produce to be grown, such as peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and lettuce. These have such a high yield that some of the older farmers have increased their incomes by up to 90%, by selling the surplus crops in the nearby capital, Sucre. 

Having a sustainable food source, and a stable source of income has enabled these older farmers to achieve dignity and security, as well as the promise of a longer, healthier life. The farm equipment, seeds, and above all the training provided to the 1,250 older people has prepared them to be better prepared against the increasing flood and drought risks taking place in Bolivia, which are due in part to the changing climate.

On behalf of the older farmers of Chuquisaca, Bolivia - thank you!

Older people collecting lettuce to prepare a meal
Older people collecting lettuce to prepare a meal
Older woman from Tarabuco in her vegetable garden
Older woman from Tarabuco in her vegetable garden
Older people & their families selling produce
Older people & their families selling produce
Young man working in his family garden in Tarabuco
Young man working in his family garden in Tarabuco
Dario Velasquez (65) & his family with water tank
Dario Velasquez (65) & his family with water tank

Links: