$78,307 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.
Efforts by all result in water for all
My name is Marvin, and I’m the coordinator of our community water committee here in Nicaragua. After years of effort, we’re just about ready to inaugurate a system of piping purified spring water directly into all our homes. You’ll understand what a big deal this is when you learn that our wives used to have to fetch water many times a day from a well almost half a mile away. We never helped because men just didn’t do that in our community.
I used to prefer to keep to myself, so I was very unsure about accepting the responsibility when I was elected coordinator. I wanted to do something about our lack of access to clean water, though, so I decided to rise to the challenge.
We first presented our water problem years ago to our municipal authorities, and then to some international organizations, but we never got a response. When Growing Hope started a new program with World Renew and Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC) that included water, we requested their support.
With lots of coordination with the technical staff of AMC and the municipality, we started the process of preparing a project proposal, taking field measurements, preparing a budget and submitting our proposal. We’ve all donated labor and funds, too. What a great achievement it’s been for us – a lesson in persistence and patience – to have clean water coming from a tap! Our children will be healthier, and our wives are done for good with the drudgery of hauling water.
We’re better organized as a community. Everyone’s more willing to volunteer and give of their time without expecting payment: no one’s saying “not my problem” anymore. And we share more work with our wives now.
Caption: Marvin pauses as visitors inspect the work on the water system
Led by World Renew and local partner Acción Médica Cristiana
7 communities, 361 households, 1,625