High in the Andes Mountains of Peru, four out of every 10 children are malnourished because many farmers don’t have the skills or resources they need to grow nutritious food all year round.
For as long as they can remember, farmers like Vidal have battled against the harsh climate, with winter temperatures plummeting to minus10° Celsius. Bitter frosts and snowfall would often destroy growing vegetable crops, causing severe food shortages for his family.
“In the winter the cold used to kill all the vegetables and we wouldn’t have anything to eat except potatoes and sometimes corn,” Vidal explained.
But because of donations from caring Australians like you, Vidal can now grow nutritious vegies for his children, Senaida and Jefferson, to eat all year round.
Vidal and other farmers in his community have learned how to build greenhouses using local materials to protect their produce from the weather. They’ve also learned how to make natural fertiliser to boost plant growth.
We grow vegetables like lettuce, onions, chillies ... and strawberries ... Now that we grow them in the greenhouse it is much easier. Whenever we want something we just walk out to the greenhouse and pick it.
Vidal said that eating vegetables on a regular basis has had a big impact on his children’s wellbeing. “The children don’t get as sick as they used to. They have much more energy, that’s what I’ve noticed. They run a lot. They are not quiet!”
Alongside introducing greenhouses, Vidal and other farmers have learned how to better manage livestock, set up crop irrigation systems, and re-design their homes to improve family health and hygiene.
The changes that generous donations like yours have made possible in this community are remarkable, with 300 families now better able to grow more food and generate more income.
And most important of all, Vidal and his neighbours now have a vision for their future and are determined to make sure that life for their children continues to improve.