news from the projects

 

Project Activities

During these first six months, the Child Aid Loja project has been working with 3,200 families, benefiting 20,000 people in total.

The project has helped the families to improve their economy and increase their self- sufficiency. The families have established vegetable gardens using organic fertilizers. They have participated in a small animal husbandry program, raising chickens, pigs and tilapia fish. Fairs have been held and tree-planting actions with moringa trees have been carried out in 75 communities. Pamphlets were distributed on how to prepare food using moringa and the nutritional benefits of moringa. We have carried out door-to-door actions with information about how to prevent diseases. We have carried out actions with the families digging 126 fishponds. Youth clubs have been organized in the communities, together with actions to mobilize children and youth to do sports. Two soccer tournaments have been carried out reaching 300 children, and one more soccer tournament is about to start in Tambo parish, organized by the youth clubs.

These activities have been implemented by the project’s Area Leaders. The project team provides practical and theoretical training to the families and supports them in carrying out the activities. All in all, the project has 17 Area Leaders, five co-project leaders and two project leaders who are working to make the activities happen and reach the day-to-day goals together with the families.

In addition, a program of training the families in nutrition has taken place to teach the families to prepare healthy food using crops from their own vegetable gardens, with the aim of obtaining a healthy life through eating nourishing food.

During these 6 months, our activities to mobilize and create community development have been focused in five districts: Paltas, Catamayo, Olmedo Chaguarpamba and Macara.

In Paltas we have been working in six parishes: Catacocha, Lourdes, San Antonio, Lauro Guerrero, Yamana and Guachanamá; in Catamayo in two parishes: Catamayo and El Tambo; in Chaguarpamba the project has been implemented in two parishes: Chaguarpamba and Amarillos; and in Olmedo we are working in two parishes: Olmedo and La Tingue.

In Macará we have our project office, from where we coordinate the strategies in Loja. Also, we are mobilizing twenty families in cultivating experimental plots where vegetables are produced to be commercialized in local markets to benefit and generate income for the involved families.

 During 2017, we continue focusing on working within these four lines:

1) Strengthening the family economy

2) Food security

3)  Children and young people are active in the society

4)  Environment

Community Development Child Aid Loja Project

Organizing Village Action Groups and having very active coordinators is our main key to running the project, with all the families involved reaching their goals. For each Village Action Group, coordinators have been selected and qualified to lead the group.

By now in 2017, the 3,200 families are benefiting directly through breeding of pigs, chickens and tilapia fish and by establishing organic vegetable gardens and experimental plot gardens with earthworms.

Besides the activities mentioned, 85 families have started focusing on recycling plastic bottles, papers, cans and kitchen waste. Compost is made from kitchen waste and plant material to transform it into humus by using earthworms, and other recyclables are made into handicrafts as an income generating activity. We already have families that are selling humus fertilizer, and they have generated a profit of $60 per month.

At the beginning of this year, 2017, we started a project taking care of 85 older adults. They receive physical therapy and are also supported by medicinal gardens, producing chickens for laying eggs and making handicrafts to beautify their homes. For those activities we are working in cooperation with another NGO called PLAN INTERNACIONAL.

Results

During 2016 and 2017 the families have been organized and trained in how to take care of animals, how to plant vegetables, how to breed pigs, chicken and fish and how to make organic vegetable gardens. Below is a table with a summary of how many families have benefited from each production line from. June 2016 until June 2017.

June 2017

Organic gardens

Alternative gardens

Experimental Plot

Raising of Chickens

Raising of Pigs

Raising of Fish

TOTAL

725

393

158

790

257

510

 

 

Summary of achieved activities during the first 6 months of the project

- Base lines study in all municipalities

- Socialization of the project with the families, local leaders and local authorities.

- Theoretical and practical training of the families in different production lines (Raising chickens, pigs, tilapia fish and organic gardens including different practical workshops about how to control pests by using organic pesticides).

- Construction of earthworm compost and vegetable gardens.

- Creation of communal Saving Banks.

- Construction of infrastructure for every production line, such as spaces for the pigs, chicken pens, tilapia fishponds and experimental vegetable gardens.

- Delivery of inputs to the families: small animals, seeds, implements, construction materials, tools and more.

- Technical monitoring of each family.

 

Other activities:

- Complementary training: Workshops about the benefits of moringa, nutrition and production of jam.

- Implementation of communal fishponds.

- Youth Clubs.

- Production of handicrafts with the Youth Clubs and theatre and dance.

- Workshops on the different ways of recycling garbage.

- Workshops on physical therapy like dancing and producing handicrafts with older adults at the project.

Alternative gardens have been implemented for the families who do not have any line of production since they will not receive any type of material from the municipality. The project provides those families with vegetable seeds besides technical assistance for managing the organic gardens. The families fence the gardens using local materials. In this way they are given the opportunity to take part in the project having a line of production and access to the trainings and workshops given by the Area Leaders who are employed in that particular area.

The Project’s Effects

The project contributes in a significant way to the improvement of the family economy and self-sufficiency for the 3,200 families involved in 5 cantons of Loja Province, through the implementation of family organic gardens, production of different types of fertilizer and organic pesticides and also raising animals.

The families participate actively in their own development for a better tomorrow.

In the year 2016 the program of raising tilapia fish involved 200 Guachanama families. This line of production has had a great impact on the families, who see a viable alternative to improving the family income, especially during the dry season, and in 2017, 519 families have joined this activity. In our areas the families did not have an opportunity of eating fresh fish; they could only get fish from cans of processed tuna fish. Today they have access to fresh fish produced by themselves.

We are very proud, as all the families can now improve their incomes.

All the families involved in the organic gardens and experimental plots have received training for the preparation of natural pesticides and organic fertilizers. Today some of them sell their productions in the local municipalities.

330 families dedicated to raising pigs possess knowledge about the care of the animals and of the sows that become pregnant. Many families will benefit from pass-on loans of piglets  within the next 6 months. Once weaned and separated from the sows, the families will pass the pigs on to other families to continue the “chain of piglets”.

801 families who take part in raising chickens have increased the number of chicken by almost a hundred per cent. At the same time they have saved money in their community saving banks, as well as paying the credits they have obtained from these banks to increase their production.

The project now has 10 community banks in the Loja Province, reaching more than 200 families who in total have saved nearly 2,000 USD.

The Child Aid project works to improve the living conditions of every family, offering activities of production of fruits, vegetables and raising animals. Many of these families were totally dependent on sowing corn and peanuts before, living with the risks inherent in monocultures.

Thanks to the training offered by the project to the families, for 2017 they have successfully produced more than 14 varieties of vegetables in 785 organic gardens, 421 alternative gardens and 8 experimental plots, besides being in the process of starting up potato production as a commercial crop for sale locally.

The vision is that the families will be able to organize themselves to sell their production both in the province and also at local farmer’s markets, so that they do not have to use  intermediary buyers who buy their products at very low costs. This also goes for the families that are raising chickens, pigs and tilapia fish.

In 2017 the Chile Aid project has had an important expansion in two new districts: Chaguarpamba, Olmedo and the parish of Amarillos, incorporating one thousand new families into the project.

During the first semester of 2017 we have mobilized the families to organize more than 10 fairs showcasing vegetables and the other activities in the project. The fairs were held in different municipalities where the Area Leaders and key persons presented the project activities by demonstrating visible goals achieved at the fairs, and the local authorities really appreciate our work.

Project  Pictures

A family farmer from Yamana Parish being interviewed and telling stories about how he feels about having a vegetable garden

 

An Area Leader visiting earthworms and ensuring that the families are taking good care of them so they can produce humus (compost)

 

Eggs produced by indigenous chickens, this family collects between 20 and 28 eggs daily and the neighbors come and buy from them

 

 

Raising pigs: Here are the visible results: this family received pigs from another family in January

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