Good nutrition is fundamental to healthy development for children and adults. But across the world, erratic weather patterns and conflict are causing food issues for governments and communities. Hunger stares people in the face as one in nine people go hungry every single day*. In East Africa, three consecutive years of reduced harvests have left millions of people with a shortage of food.
So how does Compassion fight hunger?
Hand-in-hand with the local church. Even though Compassion is not a disaster relief organisation, Compassion works with communities to provide long term solutions which help to mitigate when food shortages strike.
1. Modern farming technologies
Vulnerable communities are taught modern farming techniques including the use of greenhouses which help to increase harvests by preventing diseases and insects getting to the crops. Drought-resistant seeds are provided and available water is also conserved through irrigation.
2. Goats, pigs and chickens
Animals are provided to supplement daily dietary needs in order to ensure balanced diets. They can also be used to provide additional income such as selling goats cheese.
3. Water management
Wells, rainwater harvesting systems and water tanks have been built over the last few years to increase water storage capacity to benefit not only sponsored children, but also the communities around them.
Through RESPOND, micro-enterprises such as pig farming are funded to empower local communities to generate income and break the cycle of poverty. In Guatemala, a Compassion project called Fertile Land decided to start a fish farming project.
“In 2010, we had a medical check-up,” project director Aura said. “We had a total of 400 beneficiaries and 250 had severe malnutrition. At home there was never enough money for proper food and we did not want to just give them food. We wanted the mothers to have an opportunity to have a steady income to provide for their family and we wanted them to cook healthy food for their children.”
The mothers take care of the fish farm and sell fish in the local market, sharing the profit between them. As a result of this enterprise, members of the community have learnt a new skill and generated a better income to support their families.
Silvia Sanan is one of the single mothers who participates in the fish farming project. “I received training on how to take care of the fish,” Silvia explained. “I learnt how to cook it properly and a local bank gave us training on administration of small businesses. Thank you sponsors for what you are doing for our families. You are changing our lives through better food and better incomes, and giving us the opportunity to dream for a better future for our children. Thank you and God bless!”
Find out more about how we fight hunger