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The Bishop’s Harvest Appeal 2011 Growing for Growth Material written and designed by Lisa Fenton Senior Adviser to Schools and Hannah Williams Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education
P O V E R T Y
Where is Guatemala? The Bethania Project IN partnership with Christian Aid Bethania works with families in their own homes to improve nutrition and health by teaching people the importance of fruit and vegetables to their diet, and providing them with seeds, saplings and support they need to grow them. In the kitchen gardens families grow vegetables that can survive on very little water. Increasing droughts in this region have left farming families in an even more precarious position. In 2009 severe droughts ruined harvests. Some vulnerable people died of hunger and many thousands went hungrey. But it is not just a one off event, it is a structural problem in Guatemala that means these families live permanently on the brink of starvation.
Guatemala is a beautiful country, famous for coffee and textiles, known as the centre of the Mayan world. But Guatemala is also country of contrasts: flooding and drought, wealth and poverty, agricultural exports and food shortages.
Meet the people Hermenejildo Since Hermenejildo planted his kitchen garden with seeds and support from Bethania, he says his children feel stronger and it is easier to work. His family lost their harvest last year because of droughts. ‘With the garden they are giving us classes to show us how to make medicines with local plants to treat cough, fever and stomach ache.”
Meet the people Jacqueline Severe droughts in 2009 compounded years of living on the brink for families like Jacqueline’s. Bethania gaveher family emergency rations to help them survive until next year’s harvest. Jacqueline has planted fruit trees and resilient traditional vegetables which they can pick and eat every 8 days. “Bethania brought us food and helped us with the kitchen garden, how to do it and they gave us seeds. It is great when the food bag arrives. I want to eat it all at once, but mum is good at making it last.”
Jacqueline’s Day How many electrical things have you used this morning? What time do you get up? Do you help prepare food? Where do you have a wash?
What does Jacqueline eat? We eat chicken every couple of months. How many different things do you eat? Where does your water come from? We just eat tortilla, beans and rice How often do you eat chicken? Our water comes from a mountain stream We don’t really have milk or cheese Do you eat milk and cheese? How often?
Malnourished Half of all Guatemalan children are chronically malnourished. What does malnourished mean? • This is when a body does not get the proper nutrition it needs to work • Malnourished children doesn’t just mean thin children, it means children who get sick easily, children who cannot concentrate in class, who have no energy, when children don’t grow enough, when adults don’t have enough energy to work.
Vegetables We only used to eat vegetables twice a month. We’ve now realised how much we need to eat vegetables because they have even more vitamins than meat. Someone comes every month to teach us recipes to cook the vegetables. These are old traditional recipes, but they have been forgotten over time
Why are vitamins so Important?
Life in Guatemala Guatamalan Houses Our Houses Rural homes are built of adobe bricks, palm leaves, or clay mud mixed with straw. Floors are usually dirt, and roofs are made from palm leaves, grass thatch, wood or metal sheets. What is your house made from?
Life in Guatemala How do you travel to town? It is 3 hours walk to the nearest town. How long does it take you to travel into town? Lucky travellers may be able to hitch a lift. There are very few cars here, and no bicycles either. For most people, getting to market or to a health clinic involves walking miles up and down steep mountain tracks.
Special Times Why didn’t she celebrate her birthday? My birthday has already passed this year. I didn’t celebrate it, Have you celebrated your birthday this year?
Healthcare A nurse visits the community once a month
Cresencia My name is
A short film by Christian Aid about their work in Guatemala can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY_7Pjyz98g This can also be accessed via the Diocesan website. Click on the Social Responsibilities tab and then Harvest Appeal Information and scroll to the bottom of the page