“At home, my mom prepares me soup, potatoes, and salads with lettuce and tomato. I also get a lot of fruits like my favourite ones - pineapple and oranges.” - Abril, 5, Bolivia
A mother’s love is a powerful force. The love that 27-year-old Mayda has for her daughter Abril, 5, is so palpable - you can just see it in her eyes. That’s why it hurt Mayda that she and her husband couldn’t provide enough fresh food to feed Abril regularly.
A LACKING DIET
Abril, Mayda and her husband live in a community outside Sucre, Bolivia with three of Mayda’s young nieces and nephews.
“After I graduated high school, I worked with my cousin sewing polleras (skirts) but it didn’t make a lot of money,” Mayda told us. The income that she made provided food to Abril but it wasn’t nutritionally diverse and sorely lacking in fresh food like fruits and vegetables.
Determined to give Abril a healthier and more-balanced diet, Mayda sought out our local Bolivia partner IPTK, who gave her educational training and helped her get a job at the local ECD Center. But when Mayda was introduced to an urban garden that she knew she could give Abril a healthier future.
OPPORTUNITY IS GROWING
As part of her role at the ECD Center, Mayda received family agriculture sessions where she learned about proper irrigation, planting seeds and tending to an urban garden. This training, generously provided by kind donors, was life-changing not only for Mayda, but Abril as well. Mayda took her newfound knowledge of gardening and agriculture and started her own urban garden right at home, which has introduced nutritious and fresh food right to Abril’s plate.
When we asked Abril what she likes helping her mom around the house, she told us that irrigating the garden and planting foods like lettuce and berries are her favourite. And with the new garden, she’s enjoying the fresh fruits and vegetables. “At home, my mom prepares me soup, potatoes, and salads with lettuce and tomato. I also get a lot of fruits, like my favourite ones - pineapple and oranges,” Abril told us.
By working at the ECD Center, Mayda enrolled Abril into the after-school program where she receives daily healthy meals, supported by generous CFTC donors. Since she started at the after-school program, Abril’s health and concentration greatly improved in class. Mayda told us, “Abril does all her homework, focuses in class and hardly gets sick anymore. She’s a good student and is very responsible.”
And while the garden is blooming at home, Mayda is able to take some surplus produce and sell it for supplemental income. With the extra money, she now can purchase different meats to cook for added protein and started saving for Abril’s future education. “Everything I’ve learned at the ECD Center is useful for me and Abril. All these trainings have helped me to improve my family.”
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
When we asked Abril and Mayda what the future holds, Abril excitedly told us she wanted to go to school to become a doctor - “but first I want to learn to read and write well.” Mayda hopes that Abril becomes a professional someday with a good and steady job and can have opportunities that Mayda never had growing up.
But for now, Mayda is so thankful that Abril is in the after-school program receiving nutritious foods and that she can provide Abril with a more diversified, fresh and healthy diet. Mayda’s motherly love will make sure that Abril is well supported for years to come. Thank you to all the generous Canadian supporters who helped make this happen.