Helping children grow up healthy and strong is a full-time job, and in Brazil, it means planting the seeds for community gardens! ChildFund Brazil and our local partner organisations are working with families in several communities to plant gardens and grow vegetables for everyone’s nourishment, especially children.
PROCAJ is one of ChildFund Brasil`s local partner organisations in the Jequitinhonha Valley in the state of Minas Gerais, one of the poorest and most remote regions of Brazil. PROCAJ have begun a nutrition project which is helping to improve the nutrition of 57 families from the local community.
The families grow vegetables for their households at the local children’s community centre, and the rest of the crops are sold, generating an income for the families.
“Today we ate freshly baked vegetables which helped feed the kids at school. They have vegetables on the table every day,” says 68-year-old Maria.
For many mothers involved, the project goes beyond physical nourishment; Uca says she has seen her self-esteem grow stronger as well. “Before the garden, I took anti-depression medication,” she says. “Today I don`t need it.”
Maria adds that the community gardens have also changed how the community sees the families: “We were discredited; they used to say that we didn’t like working that we just liked to plead.”
“PROCAJ gave us confidence, believed in our efforts and our willingness to grow and succeed in life.”