Putting it All into Practice
Aleyda’s entry into the Farmer Field School offered by local partner Centro Inter Eclesial de Estudios Tecnologicos y Sociales (CIEETS) was just the start of a new way of life for her and her community. As she and her husband, Aníbal, began to practice conservation farming techniques on their land, better nutrition and better income followed.
They joined the community’s savings and internal lending group, meeting regularly with neighbors to save money for home and farm improvements. The first loan they took went for seed corn, fertilizers, labor, and renting more farmland. The second covered additional help to weed and prune two productive coffee groves the family owns. With the third they bought wood to build a coffee mill, and excavated a tilapia pond to further diversify their nutrition and income. Says Aleyda, “To our family, the savings and loan group is the main ally of our farming system.”
She’s received additional training to become a volunteer behavior change promoter to mentor pregnant women and mothers with children under two years old. “I’m honored that women from the community always welcome me into their homes to talk about a topic I’m passionate about: breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be a difficult practice. If it doesn’t go well right after birth, mothers give their babies other liquids that aren’t good for them because they think they aren’t producing enough milk. I was a very young mother without guidance, so now I want to help. I do it because, as a mother, I know the value of information, and I want to see healthy babies in our community.”
Aleyda is proud that some of the mothers she mentors breastfeed exclusively now and can see the improvement in their babies’ health. She hopes that another stage of the program will cover more issues around maternal health, such as cervical cancer screening.
In all, Aleyda is grateful for everything she’s learned. “It’s a great step forward. I’m a better woman now because of it, and what I know I can pass along to my children. We must all continue to put everything we learn into practice.”
Nicaragua Matagalpa Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Centro Inter Eclesial de Estudios Tecnológicos y Sociales (CIEETS)