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Improving children's nutrition

Sandra Callisaya, a working mother in Betanzos, Chuquisaca, faces many barriers and set-backs in life. She has not been to school and works long hours to secure a livelihood. Through our CAMINAS household vegetable garden strategy, Sandra has been able to take a more leading role in her development and has succeeded in ensuring her children are well fed. She is now motivating other women in her community to follow her example.

My name is Sandra. When I was a young girl, I enjoyed going to school but my father told me that I had to tend to the sheep, so I dropped out of school. I was sad because I really wanted to learn. So I only did two grades, but I learned how to sign my name and I can read a bit.

I have always lived here. When I was young, I once travelled to Argentina with my father’s relatives where I worked on vegetable farms for a few years. I then returned to my community here in Bolivia, where I met my husband, got married and had children. My husband is a good man. He is a bricklayer and often travels to the city because there's little work here.

Last year, I attended a Plan International workshop where I met Víctor Humanis, an engineer who works as a Municipal Facilitator for the CAMINAS project. He visited us in Santiago where he trained all the parents in how to grow household vegetable gardens. He and the municipal technician also gave us vegetable seeds. That is when I started to grow vegetables in my garden. Since I'd done this before, it wasn’t very difficult.

LOOK AT MY HEALTHY VEGETABLE GARDEN!!!

We had some practical sessions on how to prepare meals with vegetables and I learned about the nutritional value of various foods I grew and about the importance of vegetables in helping my children grow up healthy.

Now, we have sufficient vegetables to feed the children all the year round. My husband also helps in the vegetable garden. When he is away, I am in charge of producing and keeping the vegetable garden healthy, and sowing local and nutritious products.  Thanks to the CAMINAS Project, I have a household vegetable garden and my children have many vegetables in their meals.

Sandra’s vegetable garden – workshop about the use of natural insecticides

Image: A workshop on the use of natural insecticides.

Part of the production in her vegetable garden, community of Santiago

Image: Part of the produce in Sandra's vegetable garden in the community of Santiago.