Country: Nicaragua

Fighting Hunger through Agriculture in Nicaragua

Five years ago, Convoy of Hope launched our Agriculture Initiative to teach impoverished farmers how to grow more abundant, disease-free crops. Under the guidance of our own Dr. Jason Streubel, tens of thousands of farmers in four countries have been able to grow crops that now feed their families and produce an income when the extra harvest is sold at market.

For the last two years, Calixta Cruz has directed our Agriculture Initiative in Nicaragua. Because she came from an impoverished farming family herself, she loves teaching farmers — especially students — how to grow crops that thrive so their lives are changed for the better.

What kind of obstacles have you faced?

My father passed away when I was five years old so my brother had to work to support our family. My mom baked bread in the morning and my sister and I would help her make the bread and sell it after school. I graduated high school in 2007 and wanted to attend university, but I didn’t get a scholarship. I shared a room with six other students and worked hard my first year, then got a scholarship my second year. I graduated with the highest grades in my class. I want people to know that anything is possible.

What’s your favorite part of working for Convoy?

When I go to see the school gardens. Kids ask me to teach them about the garden and ask if they can help. Several students have gardens at home now, and they’ve shown their neighbors how to start gardens too. I like to remind the kids they have to fight for what they want and can’t let any obstacles get in their way.

What was your most memorable moment working at Convoy?

I was working with sixth graders at a school, and we were sifting through soil for our garden, taking out glass and stones. I noticed that the kids were laughing nonstop and realized they had put a dead mouse in the dirt where I was working and I grabbed it without even realizing it! It was so funny!

Outside of work, what do you like to do?

I love talking with my family and I spend a lot of time thinking about work and how to improve things for the people we serve. I also enjoy going to church, the movies and hanging out with friends.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Agriculture / Staff Spotlight

A Day Without Water

Have you experienced a day without water? There are many things you can’t do —  drink, bathe, cook food, wash your hands, use the toilet, wash dishes, wash clothes, clean the house, give water to your pet or make ice.

Such a simple liquid is vital for daily life.

Pacaya Community, El Crucero Municipality, is a community located in the only plateau of Nicaragua, 900 meters high, and has historical problems with drinking water, which has been exacerbated with a two year drought.

At the School Jose Cecilio del Valle, there are 133 children who live without potable water 365 days a year. The children go to school without taking a shower and with dirty clothes. It’s an ordeal to prepare food for the family. Oftentimes, the mother has to get up early and walk two kilometers to buy a bucket of water. Lack of water perpetuates diarrhea, skin diseases, lice and other parasites that do not allow children to absorb the nutrients from the food they receive.

But at Convoy of Hope, we cannot conceive a nutrition program divorced from water and sanitation. Every child — in addition to being well fed — deserves access to clean and safe drinking water. We recognize the importance of that and are working towards implementing WASH (Water Access, Sanitation & Hygiene) programs at each of our feeding centers.

Today, I challenge you. Every time you turn on the faucet, remember the millions of families without access to clean and safe water.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Children's Feeding / Program Updates
A child in Nicaragua is measured by a local team member. A child in Nicaragua is measured by a local team member.

Lunch is Served: a growth evaluation

Think back to when you were a student. If you’re anything like me, your days probably revolved around one thing — lunch. School cafeterias all over America provide hot lunches to their students and it serves as a time to fill bellies, hang with friends and take a break from the busy schedule of a school day.

But what about those kids whose days revolve around meals because it may be the only meal they get all day? That’s where we come in.

Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding Initiative gives kids in 10 countries around the world the opportunity to receive proper nourishment through nutrient rich foods. The most obvious outcome is one less hungry child, yet additional benefits come with providing sustainable foods. Weight gain and height growth are tracked by our Monitoring and Evaluating (M&E) team to ensure the food is helping kids properly grow.

Measurements for height and weight were taken in 2014 and are being taken again this year to track the development among children in the feeding initiative. Grace Heymsfield recently visited Haiti to help with the measurement process. While there, Heymsfield and the M&E team ran into a few challenges.

“Some issues were quickly recognizable,” says Heymsfield. “Where there is one child named ‘Mackenlove’ or ‘Jean Pierre’, there’s about twenty others.”

This challenge, among others, does not deter Heymsfield from striving to reach her goal of gathering the ‘end result’ measurements that were started in 2014. She says she can always find a greater purpose for her work. Giving children nutrient rich foods does not only help them grow, but also gives them a better chance of doing well in school. When a child is given the opportunity to grow, become stronger, and focus in school because of the food provided to them, every trial that accompanies the process becomes worth it.

“We learned to find beauty in the challenges and adapt to different situations,” Heymsfield claims. “At the end of the day, I think the whole team felt a sense of a job well-done.”

A job well-done will ensure children in Nicaragua, Haiti and all over the world have a good meal, which will help them stay focused in school and grow into healthy young adults.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Children's Feeding / Field Story / Program Updates

Shipping Hope 4/24/14

In the last 10 days, Convoy of Hope shipped 378,000 lbs. of food and relief supplies to Haiti, Nicaragua and Kenya. These containers are full of supplies for our Global Initiatives.

Want to help?Ship hope.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Program Updates
Convoy of Hope staff and volunteers prepare food and relief supplies for distribution in Nicaragua. Convoy of Hope staff and volunteers prepare food and relief supplies for distribution in Nicaragua.

Assisting Nicaragua earthquake survivors

After a series of earthquakes shook Nicaragua this week, our Disaster Services team is mobilizing support in the country through our established feeding program centers to assist survivors.

In Mateare, one of the regions most affected by the initial earthquake, in country staff are coordinating with the Nicaraguan government by distributing 1,000 bags of groceries to 1,000 families. The government is facilitating the delivery of the bags.

NIC-3

“Our Children’s Feeding Initiative is already active in Mateare where we are feeding more than 1,800 children, so we were in a good position to get food to earthquake survivors quickly,” says Chris Dudley, disaster services response director.

NIC-4

Teams will also deliver 220 bags of food for 220 families in the communities of Canaán and Cristiana Socialista Solidaria, where we have two Program Centers, serving 449 children.

“Next week we will be delivering 100 kits with kitchen supplies to 100 families who lost all of their household items, 100 barrels to store clean water, and 300 basic school kits to affected families so their children can go back to school,” says Andrea Frey Metzger, Latin America field operations director.

Join with us to deliver hope all around the worldGive Today

NIC-2NIC-5
COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Disaster Services / News / Program Updates