In Nicaragua, positive change really happens in program communities

In Nicaragua, positive change really happens in program communities

“Do you see change taking place in your work?” People often ask me,  as Country Consultant of World Renew (WR) programming in Nicaragua, I recently joined an FRB/WR team that evaluated the Nicaragua-Farmer program in the households “have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food during the entire year.” We saw evidence of much positive change among participants, for whom the program’s goal is to ensure that allcentral mountain region of the country.

Through program activities, farmers have improved their food security and increased their yields by rotating crops to improve soil fertility, using organic fertilizers, diversifying crops, and conserving soil and water resources. Families have started vegetable gardens, watering their plants with household wastewater, to produce food close to their homes that complements their traditional diet of corn and beans. The program also helps landless farmers get access to land ownership.In speaking to program participants and walking through their fields with them, we saw that, yes, change really has taken place:

• Many families attested that for the first time they have food in the home all year round, and showed us the corn and beans they still had on hand.

• Men who, in the past, were obliged to leave their families to migrate seasonally to Costa Rica for work could now generate sufficient economic activity by staying and farming at home.

• Both men and women were experimenting with simple drip irrigation systems to grow vegetables during the dry season.

• Many families now have water piped into their homes, easing the load for women and children who would typically dedicate hours each day to carrying it in pails from a stream.

For me, the best part was seeing barren plots of land that I recalled from three years earlier turned into lush oases of vegetation, abounding with tropical fruit, tubers, and vegetables. I am in awe of the staff that I work with, the hundreds of volunteers that share their time and skills to raise money to support the program, and the determined spirit of the thousands of lives that we impact.

Mark VanderWees, Nicaragua Country Consultant, World Renew

Nicaragua Farmer encompasses 18 communities, 1049 households, and 5769 individuals

06/05/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment