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:
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!
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.
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:
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!
Ms. Amelia was born and lives in San Joaquín, an indigenous community in rural Bolivia. She is a widow and recently has had three sons and one daughter die as well. Having barely attended school, Ms. Amelia's main livelihood has been working off the land to grow and sell agricultural produce. Water is increasingly becoming scarce, forcing her to walk long distances in search of clean and adequate supplies. She laments that things used to be better years ago, but now, the changing climatic and weather patterns are forcing her and her neighbors to resort to other sources of income such as collecting chestnuts, which is a difficult task at her age.
Since 2012, with help from your donation through Global Giving, Ms. Amelia's life has changed for the better. Now, water is being provided right to her doorstep, through the very simple yet efficient micro-irrigation system that the project has provided older farmers in her community. The water is channeled through pipes from a natural reservoir uphill. Not only does she use the water for consumption, but also for irrigation and to feed her small livestock. In her garden, she can now plant cassava, sweet potato, rice and corn.
Amelia is just one example of over 400-headed families who have benefited from this project. This community-based water management project has had tremedous impact on improving the lives of older peasant farmers. Through this HelpAge initiative, older people have formed 15 organized groups that are not only supporting each other, but also lobbying for inclusion in the municipal climate change adaption plans and strategies.
With just a little support, older people's contributions to their families and communities are being maximized! As Amelia explained to a HelpAge coordinator, “Thank you all for your help, without which we wouldn’t be feeding ourselves and our grandchildren."
Each time we get an update from the field, we are reminded how grateful we are that you have chosen to support our project. Because of you, hundreds of older farmers in Bolivia are adapting to the changing climate and now have reliable access to adequate supplies of food and water.
In March, HelpAge staff officially handed over the first 20 micro irrigation systems to 20 older people headed families in the locality of El Carmen, Chuquisaca, Bolivia. The project now is in its second phase of implementation and we have seen remarkable progress.
Over 900 direct and indirect beneficiaries from five communities of the Tarabuco Municipality continue to receive water for both irrigation and consumption, including for new livestock that older farmers are now able to raise as an extra source of income.
Right now, HelpAge staff and partners are focused on training the older farmers on the reasonable use of natural resources, especially water, as well as specific training in the practice of horticulture. These training activities are providing older people with the necessary knowledge and skills which will help them to become self reliant in managing their gardens in an efficient and sustainable manner.
Hilaria Pucho’s family, one of the first older woman beneficiaries from the community of El Carmen, is already regularly consuming the organic vegetables that she has been able to grow because of her access to water. She will soon start selling the surplus within the community.
“Usually, around this time of the year when it is cold and dry, we would be almost dying of hunger because nothing grows," Hilaria says. "Thanks to the project that has provided water for irrigation, we have food all round the year.”
We wanted you to know that your donation is still transforming lives of poor older people in rural Bolivia. Thank you for helping us make a difference.
p.s. On October 17th, Global Giving will be matching 30% of any gift up to $1,000. It is the LAST Bonus Day of the year. We will be send you a reminder in a couple weeks with hopes you may want to maximize your contribution by simply donating on October 17th!
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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