Agriculture and Nutrition
Proper nutrition and malnutrition are everyday challenges for people in the areas where CAUSE Canada is working.
The CAUSE Kids School Agriculture and Nutrition Program aims to build sustainable local food security providing further incentive to send children to school and making formal education more relevant to rural communities in northern Sierra Leone. We accomplish this through implementing, expanding, and the ongoing development of organic school gardens and agricultural sustainability education programs.
In Guatemala, we are working with local women’s groups to help them plant and maintain family gardens with a variety of food for personal consumption. The aim of this work is to increase the amount and variety of nutritious food families consume in the very dry and impoverished communities in the Western Highland regions of Todos Santos and Comitancillo.
How we work
CAUSE Kids is a holistic, school-based child sponsorship program with direct benefit to over 5,100 students. CAUSE Kids partners with seventeen primary schools. Each of the schools has a school garden where students learn sustainable agricultural techniques under the direction of an Agricultural Coordinator.
Students learn firsthand by planting and harvesting peanuts, cabbage, okra, pepper, cassava, potatoes, and pigeon peas, in addition to participating in community-assisted rice farming. Harvested foodstuffs supplement a meal program that provides every student with a daily breakfast and hot lunch. Community volunteers have built cook shelters near the schools where mothers’ clubs prepare delicious and nutritious meals. Excess produce from the agriculture program is sold at market to provide financial resources for the schools’ other needs.
In Guatemala, we provide small amounts of basic gardening materials including seeds, and fencing to prevent farm animals from ravaging the new garden. Additionally, our agronomist works with women to help the maximize outputs from the gardens, plant foods that complement each other in terms of their growing but also in nutrition for the family. Given that we are working in the dry corridor of Guatemala, the agronomist also helps women efficiently utilize their small amounts of water.
Where we work
In 2015 the CAUSE Kids School Agriculture and Nutrition Program was able to provide agricultural education and daily meals to over 2,556 students in Sierra Leone. This program meets immediate needs while beating a sustainable path to food security that is particularly important as population and environmental pressures impact food prices around the world.
In 2016 and 2017, 828 women farmers and their families will benefit from gardens in 30 communities in Comitancillo in the Western Highlands of Guatemala helping to alleviate poverty and promote economic development.