As you sponsor a child in Guatemala, we thought you might be interested in hearing about the difference people are making to their lives with vegetable gardens.
In one Guatemalan community, helping children grow now includes helping a garden grow as well. Small herb and vegetable plots have become part of a World Vision program to help counter malnutrition in children.
Weight and height monitoring is part of the community's strategy to keep an eye on childhood nutrition, and is conducted on all children under the age of five.
Marta, a mother of four girls – Karina Yaneth, 15, Floina Oneida, 13, Damaris Yanira, 6 and Carmen Adelaidea, 2 – sought the help of the World Vision health units when Damaris Yanira started to get sick aged three. Staff there warned Marta that her daughter was losing weight and becoming malnourished. Not only did Marta get the training and help she needed to help her daughter, she was also given the means to establish a small vegetable garden so her children would have an ongoing source of nutritious food. Currently, 200 families with low-weight children produce vegetables this way.
World Vision’s technical staff train all families about how to build the container to grow their veggies in, ways to plant, about crops, harvest and ways to prepare food for consumption. Marta said the garden had made a big difference to her life.
“With training and experience I noticed that food production at home produces many benefits. One of them is we do not have to spend money to purchase herbs at the market as we produce them at home.”
“We always have food for consumption and sometimes I can sell some to help with other family needs. I also learned to obtain my own seeds from some plants and other times I purchase seeds for the vegetables I sell,” said Marta.
Today she also manages her own orchard with her neighbors, and both Damaris Yanira and Carmen Adelaida are healthy because Marta keeps good weight and height control, applies better health and nutrition practices, and produces vegetables at home that help provide diverse food for her children.