Continually Finding Ways to Improve

Mario, a farmer in the Castrovirreyna program, says that what he’s learned helps him overcome “tragic moments” and challenges. “I have my garden, my potatoes, my barley to feed me.”

According to a recent report from local partner CEDINCO, families in these high Andean plains are incorporating solid habits regarding nutrition and food handling. Children know to wash their hands. Homes are cleaner and more organized, with families separating their small protein animals from areas where people eat and live.

In order to bolster and sustain these results, CEDINCO coordinates with educational institutions and health facilities to provide training and personalized guidance to mothers. These connections will also help families cope with or prevent COVID-19. Home health visitors raise awareness about anemia, parasites, and other conditions that keep children from fully metabolizing the food they eat. They monitor diet, food storage and handling, water sources, and overall hygiene practices indoors and out. One mother, Yovana, says, “Thanks to the training on nutrition, we’re cooking balanced meals. We know about giving our children liver if we see signs of anemia.”

CEDINCO also works with farmers on ways to handle the many difficulties inherent in agriculture in an environment that is constantly facing freezing, hail, soil infertility, and either flooding or drought. The program is piloting some new ideas, all focused on improving water and crop quality and reducing disaster risks. These include:

  • Training communities to detonate fireworks as ice accumulates, to abate damage by hail
  • Using livestock manure to improve soil moisture and quality, especially for potato plants
  • Organizing community members to monitor localized weather stations at 2:00 AM in order to to protect irrigation systems from freezing as temperatures drop
  • Strategically planting pine trees to prevent erosion

Marina, another participant says, “I always have fresh vegetables in my garden for us to eat or to sell to my neighbors. I’m glad to attend the training so that our family improves. Thank you, CEDINCO!”

Peru Castrovirreyna Program
Led by Lutheran World Relief and Local Partner CEDINCO

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