Mar 15, 2021

Nutricion Escolar - Food security through sustainable agriculture in rural Bolivia

In Bolivia, as in many parts of the world, the current COVID-19 pandemic has not yet eased - be it in the health system, basic health care or the persistent poverty, especially in the rural areas of the country. Therefore, it is still important for us to help the people locally with the means at our disposal and, in doing so, to manifest and secure an important basic building block of everyday life with our food security project.

Fortunately, despite ongoing pandemic measures, classes in the village schools could be resumed after several months in March 2021.

As of now, training on the operation of the drip irrigation system, sustainable agriculture and healthy nutrition can be conducted again at the village schools. All postponed trainings will be made up in a timely manner. For this purpose, a workshop was held in February with all village schoolteachers. In early March, each village school developed an action plan for the project in the 2021 school year and dates for trainings were agreed upon.

The trainings are essential for the continued success of the project, as the project cannot function sustainably in the long term without knowledge transfer and assurance. The year 2020 has explicitly shown us how important a stable and resilient food system is nowadays. Whether COVID-19 or climate impacts, empowering smallholder families, healthy food diversity, and a sustainable perspective for local agriculture are vital.

While no classes could take place, the village schoolteachers, the actual people in charge of the gardens, were partially not on site. Therefore, in the meantime, we have successfully appointed other responsible persons who have taken care of the gardens. Just in time for the beginning of the school year, the drip irrigation systems will be refurbished so that the students can benefit from the gardens with immediate effect.

In 6 of the village schools from the project, the low temperatures, which can be below freezing at night, make it difficult to use the land for agriculture. This is due to the very high altitude of the village schools in the Andes. Until now, a great deal of effort had to be expended in order to still be able to grow vegetables. For example, plants are covered at night to protect them from frost. We want to remedy this problem and build greenhouses in 6 village schools.

Thanks in part to donations on GlobalGiving, we have managed to secure funding for 3 of the 6 greenhouses. These will be built promptly so that they will be ready in May, before the cold months begin. At the moment, we are still in the planning phase: material is being selected and purchased, transportation is being organized, local material is being prepared and the actual construction is being planned together with the village community so that many residents can participate and learn during the construction.

We hope to be able to finance the missing 3 greenhouses as soon as possible and are very happy about support!

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Mar 13, 2021

Ongoing fight against COVID19 in Bolivia

With our last report, we hoped for an early end to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the situation has not yet improved neither here in Europe nor in the rest of the world.

Many thanks from us and the people in Bolivia to you for your continued great support!

The mask production started with success and has created jobs in these difficult times, in addition to providing protection for the inhabitants. The masks also have a good side effect of always reminding people of hygiene habits.

As in Europe, the situation in Bolivia worsened again at the turn of the year with a second large wave of new infections. Currently, there are already a total of 257,240 corona cases and 11,903 deaths. Health care is still not sufficiently available and especially the rural population often has no access or long walking distances to medical care.

In the Micani region, there has recently been a new ray of hope, as a bridge has made it noticeably easier for cars and trucks to reach the area, and with it, basic care. Feel free to check out our Instagram page for more on this. (linked below)

Hope now lies in vaccines to achieve mass immunity. Hopefully, soon, vaccinations will no longer remain a privilege of industrialized countries and will also go to poorer regions. There has been a positive start with China agreeing to provide 400,000 doses of vaccine.

We hope that the pandemic will end quickly globally, but also especially in Bolivia. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your great support, which continues to drive us here in Germany and the work in Bolivia during this time!

new bridge
new bridge

Links:

Feb 25, 2021

Planning further project activities

At the end of the old year, the new seedlings were planted by the families in December, after they had to acclimatise beforehand. Training for these families has continued over the last three months. The small sewing business set up in the summer also continues to operate.

In the last three months, some planning has also taken place at the organisational level regarding the way forward for the project. For example, a procedure was developed for monitoring both the growth and condition of the plants and the successes in terms of equality. The former will be done by the local experts on site and by means of the app developed by Aktion Sodis. The latter will be collected through direct interviews with a representative number of families by the technicians.

In addition, a process has been designed to provide financial support to families to purchase tools and materials. It is envisaged that each family will be provided with an amount in a virtual account from which they can procure materials or tools. They have to pay back this amount later and from the amount paid back, another family is enabled to have a virtual account. For the beginning, 20 so-called model families are to be selected, which are also part of the other projects of Aktion Sodis and are thus to actas role models for the other families.

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