$7,722 needed of $100,000
In this context where access to legal owneship of land is especially challenging, this program purchases parcels of land, subdivides them and sells them to landless families. The land they start with is typically compacted and overgrazed pasture and anything but flat. Along with financing the land, farmers are being trained how to fertilize the soil and prevent erosion, manage plant diseases and insects, and promote new crop varieties and how to market them. It’s a slow process. The first couple of years are comparable to homesteading in North America when the population moved westward. The land barely produces enough for the family’s consumption… let alone making any payments on the land. But then something happens, something transformational. Confidence replaces timidness. Beans, corn and dozens of other crops are planted, including flowers and vegetable, a zinc roof replaces the plastic sheeting on the house, and trees begin producing fruit and give shade where there was none before. The barren land becomes a community whose people work together to build a water system and places for kids to play.
Training Leaders Makes Communities Stronger
While all of local partner AMC’s workshops bring a great deal of value to Matagalpa communities, for Raúl the most immediately useful one was on Leadership. A young father of two, Raúl is a natural leader, but when he was invited last year to join his village’s Leadership Committee, he accepted the role without training or really knowing what it entailed. That changed when AMC stepped in.
AMC promotes community transformation through training in agriculture, health, nutrition, and
leadership. Initially, municipal authorities had heard about AMC’s work elsewhere and invited the local staff to the community’s general assembly. Soon, AMC was fully active in the community, having established a hands-on Farmer Field School, started a Maternal and Infant Health program and a savings group, and offered guidance on leadership skills.
“The workshops on leadership have helped me a lot, especially with communications skills,” says Raúl. “Before AMC came, we barely ever met as a Leadership Committee and we couldn’t get anything done. Now we’re trying to improve our lives and we’re much more motivated,” he says.
The Leadership Committee now has plenty of other community projects in mind, having listened to their neighbors’ requests for more latrines, public transport, and access to clean water. And AMC will be there to lend a hand.
Thanks to your generosity and support:
• Climate-smart Farmer Field Schools help farmers produce more and better food
• AMC is training Behavior Change Promoters to support babies’ health in their first 1000 days of life
• Organized communities are better able to prepare for and recover from natural disasters
Nicaragua Matagalpa Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC)