$51,445 needed of $100,525
Lutheran World Relief (LWR)
The Peru Castrovirreyna program works with indigenous farmers to increase the quantity of food available and the nutritional status of their children. To increase yields, farmers are trained on diversifying farm plots, organic production methods, establishing seed banks, improving post-harvest storage, and establishing family gardens and greenhouses. Families have more access to meat after training on small livestock rearing. Farmers are also trained to market their organic potato and vegetable crops and better manage their farm revenue. Another area of focus is on good nutrition and hygiene habits, and a deworming campaign is being coordinated with local health posts.
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