Mothers, babies and families participating in FRB’s Perú-Chota program are enjoying improved health through workshops and follow-up on hygiene, home vegetable gardening, nutrition, agriculture, and clean water practices. These rural communities are also securing greater access to basic municipal services , and the program has developed standards for inter-agency coordination between health and educational centers. Hygiene, nutrition and school gardens are a part of school curricula, and mothers and teachers alike have a positive attitude towards the program’s activities.
Over a three-year period, 450 boys and girls under the age of five in the communities have experienced a 9% reduction in chronic and an 11% reduction in overall malnutrition. Parasitic diseases and acute diarrheal illnesses have been reduced, and more families are planting and consuming vegetables from their gardens. Four of the mothers speak of the impact of the training and follow-up on their lives:
MARICELA, 17: I’ve learned good things from the program, for myselfand about raising my son. I like it when they have us play with our kids at the health center. They say this helps them to learn better at school. I have a garden now and it helps me a lot because it feeds me and my family and I sell the rest. If not for the garden, I wouldn’t have any income.
MARIA, 42: We’ve learned important things, from how to care for our children to how to plant, things even our own authorities haven’t done.My son is very happy and he doesn’t want to miss any of his classes anymore. He eats better and I think he’s taller than he was last time. Thanks for the towels, the toothpaste, and the bucket.
DORALIZA, 32: I am president of a day-care, and have been with the program since the beginning, when I learned that my son Oscar had anemia. Before we had no idea what that was. Since then, I have been planting vegetables, mostly beetroot and spinach, because this strengthens his blood. They have also taught us how to prepare meals.
RUTH, 21: I was a teacher at last year. I’ve been with the program since I became pregnant and, because of that, my baby was born healthy. I am grateful for the training. It helps us to teach our children. Now that I am a mother, I care for my son just like I was taught. I always take him to the health center for checkups and stimulation because the young lady told us that it was good for him. Thanks for remembering us and my community.
FRB's Peru-Chota Program encompasses 11 communities, 250 households and 875 individuals