With around 3800 varieties of potatoes in Peru, you can imagine that the people who live there are expert potato cooks! Potatoes, grains, meat and fats are staples of the Peruvian diet, but as participants in FRB’s Peru-Castrovirreyna program begin to improve their children’s health through nutrition, they are also learning to grow, cook, eat and appreciate a number of vegetables new to them. Cooking classes for the whole family become a way to try new foods, develop recipes, and even inspire people to compete for prizes as they invent new dishes.
CODESO, the local partner of the FRB program led by Lutheran World Relief, printed a handsome cookbook they call “Llapanchiqpaq yanukusun” in Quechua, or “Let’s Cook for Everybody.”
A year after Beatrice received agricultural training in FRB’s DRC-Katanga-Kamina program, her situation has changed from desperate to thriving. Last year, her family of nine suffered when her husband lost her job and her youngest child fell seriously ill.
Members of her church helped pay the hospital fees, and things started looking up when a friend told her about a program that offered training in farming. The FRB program gave her hope because she saw it as a way to feed her family, earn a decent income, and gain reliable access to food, healthcare, education and other life necessities.
In this video, Margot Bokanga, DRC Program Manager for UMCOR, explains how the Foods Resource Bank Democratic Republic of Congo- Katanga Kamina program is addressing health and nutritional needs and spells out how a potential issue could be turned into a great strength for these communities.
FRB’s Mexico-Chiapas program is addressing challenges of poor nutrition, poverty, and loss of population from migration due to global policies beyond the control of the community. The program promotes food security by supporting families’ organic crops, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens.
Access to water is limited, so efforts are focused on collecting water in tanks for irrigating staple crops like beans and corn, and water conservation practices in family gardens. Many families are cultivating depleted land, and are benefiting from training on
Mothers, babies and families participating in FRB’s Perú-Chota program are enjoying improved health through workshops and follow-up on hygiene, home vegetable gardening, nutrition, agriculture, and clean water practices. These rural communities are also securing greater access to basic municipal services , and the program has developed standards for inter-agency coordination between health and educational centers. Hygiene, nutrition and school gardens are a part of school curricula, and mothers and teachers alike have a positive attitude towards the program’s activities.
Over a three-year period, 450 boys and girls under the age of five in the communities have experienced a 9% reduction in chronic and an 11% reduction in overall malnutrition.
Don Tomás, a 52-year-old father of seven who participates in FRB’s Bolivia-Potosí program, says: “Before this program began, one of our biggest problems was water scarcity. Sometimes we were able to plant only a portion of our land, and only when the spring rains came. Now, with the installation of the sprinkler irrigation systems using water from our pond, we can save water, it gets to more families, and we are able to water more frequently with less work. So, this year, eight families were able to plant a hectare (2.47 acres) more than we did last year. There was a drought, but our crops are doing better than those of other families who don´t have this kind of irrigation."
Representatives from local partner Nord Sud realized very early on that they would have to gain the trust of the villagers if they were to be successful. They did this not by simply presenting the information and leaving, but staying and living in the village for 20 days of every month to work and teach alongside the villagers. It still took over 2 years of effort before the villagers began to accept the new ways of eating and farming. We saw a new 2-room school, and small metal bins they used to protect their crops from insects and rodents.
A team of eight of us from Habitat for Humanity was going to be working in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Since three of us were FRB partners – we volunteer for community growing projects in Indiana – we secured permission from FRB, program lead member Lutheran World Relief, and local partner Nor Sud to "drop in" on one of the villages in FRB’s Bolivia-Tacobamba program.
Tacobamba. Until this visit, it was just a name on a piece of paper. Every year our church Missions committee has a meeting after our harvest celebration to choose where our portion of our growing project’s money will go. This year they had been given a list of three programs from around the world and had chosen one in southern Bolivia called Tacobamba.