“I like tomatoes, cheese, and goldenberries,” says five-year-old Nicole, who lives in a remote mountain village in Peru. The little girl’s favorite foods aren’t surprising – until you realize that, a decade ago, they simply didn’t exist in her village.
In the isolated high Andes, a harsh climate and grinding poverty combine to make producing food difficult. In the past, “children were malnourished,” says Jorge Huapaya, who oversees nutrition programs for a Corus organization in Peru. “Food was very basic and very poor – potatoes, barley, sometimes a little bit of animal fat, no more.”
But with your gifts, families have been able to produce more and better food. They’re also less dependent on food trucked from cities up winding, washed-out mountain roads. Your generosity provided seeds, starter groups of breeding animals, and other initial support to help them:
- Create mud-walled greenhouses to grow vegetables
- Raise guinea pigs and chickens for meat
- Make cheese and other dairy products
- Maximize their food production in other ways
“The food diet of the inhabitants, and especially of children, has completely changed,” says Jorge. Instead of a diet heavy in potatoes, children eat protein and colorful vegetables.
In addition to helping parents provide better food to their children, the project also helps farmers sell their excess produce to wider markets, like potato chips now sold in Europe. Most importantly, families are less vulnerable to food shortages and price increases.
Your ongoing support can save more children in the Andes mountains from malnutrition. “There have been so many accomplishments. We are happy about the achievements and response from families,” says Jorge. “They’re an example of resilience, of not giving up.”