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Happiness without droughts

Plan International Guatemala partnered with Action Against Hunger and the Copán Ch’orti’ Commonwealth to improve the capacity of vulnerable populations to face recurrent droughts.

“Every time we lacked rain, we would think that the lack of water is bad for our corn and other crops. Grass dries up as do trees and water streams” says Miguel, 12.

The recurrent droughts create a significant reduction in the production of food, reduce income and increase poverty leading to food insecurity that affects the most vulnerable children. 

“When drought hits, my father and other relatives go to other places to work to earn money to buy corn. We stay back with my siblings and relatives. We go to school and take advantage of the lunch they give us there, because at home we can only eat twice a day” Miguel says.

The project introduced good practices which improve the resilience of families in the face of lengthy dry spells, and drought risk management is integrated in the strategies, policies, plans and protocols at local, national and regional levels.

With 1050 primary school children and teachers from 5 schools, Plan International implements an awareness-raising campaign with the students, parents and teachers, where good practices that help face drought are discussed.  The campaign “Sin sequía, todo es alegría” (Everything is happiness without droughts) includes radio and TV spots, education videos and school fairs.  Children are the protagonists of the campaign and learned to use cameras and produce messages which are broadcast for free to the community by local radio stations.

Miguel and his friends planting trees.
Miguel and his friends planting trees.

In coordination with the Ministry of Education, Plan International designed a chapter dedicated to droughts in the Risk Management Guide that was approved and included as part of the curriculum to use in schools at national level. This guide contains activities to better understand the effects produced by climate change.