Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes

by Aktion Sodis e.V.
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes
Combating Food Insecurity in the Bolivian Andes

Dear Supporters,

Currently, two volunteers, Anja and Arthur, are on location for Aktion Sodis in Bolivia, getting a firsthand look at the progress of our projects, which we would like to report to you today. In our school garden project, the villagers noticed that it is too cool for some types of vegetables in the high altitudes of Micanis. Therefore, we decided to support the construction of greenhouses at a total of 10 out of the 16 village schools. After three greenhouses were built during a pilot phase in 2021, the construction continued in three additional villages with a slightly adjusted model in the fall of 2022. The village school teachers and parents are extremely grateful for the projects that have been implemented so far. They report that, thanks to the greenhouses, they have been able to significantly increase their harvest yields. In addition, the communities have been enabled to discover and grow new types of vegetables. Through the partner organization, they are supported with training and materials to improve their farming skills and help them grow a greater variety of vegetables. Our project will continue in 2023/2024. In May, the project was presented at four additional village schools. The teachers and parents are already looking forward to the construction and are currently preparing. They are preparing the terrain and pressing adobe bricks for the wall construction.

United for a Protein-Rich Diet – Support our new chicken coop project

We are also pleased to report about our new pilot project. All village schools are now successfully growing vegetables. Now, we want to take another important step and support the village schools in providing a more protein-rich diet for the students. To this end, chicken coops are being built at initially two village schools. This will enable the schools to keep chickens and use the eggs for the children's meals. This represents a sustainable source of high-quality protein and contributes to improving the nutrition situation in the communities. In May, the concept was presented and further developed in the two communities. The positive response from the parents and teachers present was impressive. A committee was immediately formed that is willing to actively support the project. The villagers recognize the importance of a balanced diet for the children and are looking forward to enabling them to have access to fresh eggs. In addition, the project provides a great learning opportunity for the students, as they take on responsibility for caring for the chickens and at the same time can gain important knowledge about animal husbandry and sustainability. For the continuation of project activities, we continue to rely on your support. With your donation, we can purchase the necessary material to build the chicken coops and ensure the implementation of regular workshops.

Thank you very much for your support!

Your Food Security Team

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Just before the rainy season started in December, we were able to finish all the construction work we had started. Since then, we have mainly been doing office work, as many roads are currently impassable and villages cannot be visited.
Of course, administrative work is also part of every project. At the end of last year, year-end activities such as reports and financial statements were on the agenda.
Since January, we have been preparing numerous activities for this year. A lot of research is being done, workshops are being designed and material is being prepared. Manuals and handouts are being written so that the operational work can start as soon as the roads are passable again. The car is in the workshop and is being brought up to scratch.
In February, however, the first local expert workshop of the year was held in Micani, where, among other things, a rough plan for this year was drawn up.
The first major activity of the local expert network is a survey among the families on the topics of nutrition and agriculture in order to get to know the level of knowledge and the needs of the families better. The survey was developed jointly by the Bolivian staff and German volunteers and is currently being integrated into the smartphone monitoring app, which will receive a final update before the local experts conduct the survey digitally in Micani at the end of March.
We are on pins and needles and are looking forward to getting back to work in the countryside soon. 


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April 2022, Ullchu/ Micani - while in Europe and North America spring is in full swing and it is getting brighter and warmer from day to day, in the high Andean regions one encounters more variable temperatures. Especially in the early morning or evening hours, when the environment is no longer warmed up by the sun, it can get quite cold. Especially in the high villages of the Micani region, like Ullchu. This was also noticed by our volunteers who travelled from Germany to Bolivia to visit and work on our projects.
One morning in May the members of our partner organization Fundación SODIS and our volunteers started their journey from the main village Micani and drove over the unpaved and bumpy roads and finally arrived in the village Ullchu. A project workshop was planned for the day, as well as an evaluation of the solar tent that had been built a few months earlier. And the outside temperatures quickly made everyone want to go to the solar tent because it was much warmer and more comfortable there than outside. Proof that the solar tents are really serving their purpose. The plants also flourish much better because of the warmth. In Ullchu, the villagers experienced a vegetation cycle that was shortened by at least 2months. The visit there was a complete success, Maria, one of our volunteers from Germany, could convince herself of the good condition and functioning of the solar tent and the associated school garden in Ullchu.
Motivated by the successes with these first solar tents, we were able to complete three more in other communities (Ipote, Allpaca und Cabrini) this year. The photos show the construction process of the past weeks. We were also able to optimize and adapt our model for our purpose. So for example, thinner wooden poles were used and we replaced the foil with plates, which further stabilised the roof of the solar tents.
The idea of the solar tents was very well received by the villagers and our partner organization is now regularly approached by the residents of other villages asking if they, too, get the chance to build one in their village. This shows that our project not only works technically, but is accepted by the villagers to such an extent that they develop their goals for the garden and solar tents. This is the change we want to initiate and we thank you very much for your support!

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The climate change is already visible in Micani: This year the rainy season was unexpected longer than usual, which means that the roads were not clear for a long time. Therefore, we could not reach some families in the rural area. Nevertheless, we are doing our best to improve the nutritional situation in Micani – and we are making good progress:
The school gardens with the micro-irrigation systems are already part of everyday life of the pupils, and everyone helps with it. Partly there is still enough water after the rainy season to irrigate with sprinklers, but with the micro-irrigation systems the schools are prepared for the critical time in July. The already built solar tents are working great – now two of three are planted. The preparations for the next three solar tents are in full swing and the villagers are very motivated to help with the construction. Furthermore, we are already working on the solution to the protein shortage of the children in Micani: the chicken farming. We have done a lot of research on this topic and are currently developing a model of how we can best build the chicken farms in Micani. So, our project at the village schools is progressing well.
Recently, our work with the families of Micani has begun. The first workshop has already been held in five villages. In this one, the families learned the basics about nutrition. With the help of a traffic light scheme, the participants classified food into healthy, medium, and unhealthy. Also, they have learned which food components are important for a healthy diet – especially the necessity of vegetables. The 40 micro-projects will also start soon. The families have already submitted proposals for what they each want to tackle in their own micro-project. We then checked these proposals together with them for feasibility, so that we now have 40 concrete project ideas that we want to carry out as soon as possible. But before we can start with the procurement, the last part of the financing still must be clarified. Therefore, we would be happy about your support!


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GlobalGiving report März 2022

It is Saturday, March fifth, 2022, and our nutrition project has entered a new phase a few weeks ago. With fresh motivation and a lot of interest from the people of Micani, we continue to pursue our goals: to secure food in times of climate change with sustainable agriculture.

But first a short review of the past months: before Christmas we successfully finished the project work for the year. The school gardens are in full operation and enrich the school lunch with plenty of vegetables. Particularly great for us was the success with the solar tents. The plants have thrived and a harvest has already taken place. With the tents the vegetation cycle has been reduced by 1-2 months. Now also the communities, which were disadvantaged by their altitude, have been able to catch up.
Last month we organized a "feria educativa" (a kind of educational fair) in the central village of Micani, to which each of the 15 schools sent students and teachers. There, they exhibited their vegetables, brought selfmade posters or self-written songs and performed small plays that fit the theme. For many children and teachers from the more remote villages it was the first school trip of this kind and it generally led to much enthusiasm. Thus, a very motivating end of the year could be created before going on winter vacation.
Now we are still in the rainy season in Micani, Bolivia. From mid-December to mid-March, many roads are impassable due to the heavy rainfalls. However, teachers and parents from some communities sent us fotos and infos with their cell phones. In independent organization they have already started with the sowing the gardens.

What is the agenda for this year?
We have two priority goals.

First of all, we would like to continue our project at the village schools. Since the solar tents produced such good results last year, we now want to build them in three more communities. Here, too, we experience cool temperatures and frost, so the school gardens would also benefit enormously from a solar tent. In addition, through our study of the children's eating habits, we have found that while there is rarely a lack of carbohydrates, there is a lack of protein. We would like to address this with a pilot project in 3 communities by establishing chicken farms.
Our second major goal is to start our work with the families of Micani. This is because a large proportion of these families are involved in agriculture and practice subsistence farming. The nutritional situation in the region can therefore only be improved holistically for all people if, in addition to schools, families are also part of our project.
40 families will therefore start to run a small farm in their backyard as their own micro-project. They will receive our support in purchasing the necessary materials as well as in the form of training on the topics of sustainable agricultural practices as well as the processing and preservation of food and basic knowledge in healthy nutrition. Our project approach is special in that we do not operate a standard solution for the gardens, because each family should be supported according to their needs. This means that individual, creative and independent solutions have to be found and put into practice by the family itself. Therefore we hope to empower the family and increase the ownership feeling of their garden.

We are very happy that with your support we will be able to extend our project and start working with families in Micani.


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Organization Information

Aktion Sodis e.V.

Location: Aachen - Germany
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Matthias Bausch
Aachen , Germany
$5,908 raised of $9,140 goal
217 donations
$3,232 to go
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