Organic farming: From the school to the communities

In Ng’ongo, a remote village in the north of Malawi, the village community, supported by ASUD (Action for Sustainable Development), started to establish a permaculture garden at the school four years ago. Thanks to this garden, school absenteeism has strongly decreased and the performance of the pupils has increased.

Malawi-Permakultur-Schulgarten

Organic farming: From the school to the communities

In Ng’ongo, a remote village in the north of Malawi, the village community started to establish a permaculture garden at the school four years ago. This project was supported by ASUD (Action for Sustainable Development). Thanks to this garden, the students are better nourished and, as a consequence, school absenteeism has strongly decreased and the performance of the pupils has improved. The school produces the required compost itself by means of the manure produced by the pigs. The mothers of the school children are also involved. They have organised themselves in clubs and have been learning organic farming techniques through their work in the school garden. Today, these women also have permaculture gardens at home, from which they can harvest vegetables for a balanced diet. They support each other and pass on their knowledge to other families in their villages. In less than three years, a holistic project has been developed which now serves as a model for other communities.

Photo report about the project in Malawi

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Ellen Magawa, teacher at the primary school in Ng’ongo in northern Malawi, is teaching her students how to make compost. For this purpose, they dig pits which are filled with the compost material, covered and left to rest. They will later use the compost in the school garden and the organically produced vegetables will provide the common school lunch.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

This project started with a small school garden that was to provide the pupils with balanced meals at school and, in turn, was to enable them to learn better. Today, the garden with vegetables, medicinal plants and pest-repellent plants has become both a source of food and a place of training.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Pigs are kept on the school premises and their manure is an important ingredient in the compost. These pigsties in this foto are part of the demonstration farm at the school in Ng’ongo and are at that moment being visited by members of the Ministry of Agriculture and the principals of other schools with the aim of exchanging know-how about pig farming.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten Schweine

The mothers of the school children also take care of the pigs and thus learn everything important for their own pig farming. Back in their communities, they put what they have learned into practice independently. Pig farming is not easy, the pigsties must be well built and maintained and the pigs must be expertly cared for. In Ng’ongo there has already been some success in breeding.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Ellen Magawa has been involved in the project from the start and she says: “This project has been our project from the very beginning. We were asked what we wanted to implement and how we wanted to do it. We were given the opportunity for further training in permaculture so that we could gain the necessary know-how. In this way the school garden has become the heart of the project and everyone involved has realised that with their commitment they can considerably improve the situation of their family and of the whole community”.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Around 400 children from the area attend the primary school of Ng’ongo. On the open doors day there is a lot of activity on the premises: everything must be shown and seen, the school and the school garden as well as the pigsties.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

The school had no well for a long time and the children had to bring the water for drinking, washing their hands and for the plants from far away. In 2018, EcoSolidar supported the construction of a school well, making it possible for the school and the community to obtain their own water. Especially in the current corona crisis it is very important to have enough clean water for drinking and for following the measures of hygiene.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Vegetables are planted in the school garden to provide the children with a balanced meal every day. This is to combat malnutrition and prevent school absenteeism since hungry children often do not come to school at all or can hardly concentrate. The knowledge of organic farming techniques has also increased the children’s and their mothers’ knowledge about healthy eating. Since the women now have such gardens at home, they can better feed their families and, in addition, share the skills they have gained with other farmers. 

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Visitors to the clubs of lead and follower farmers who cultivate their own organic permaculture gardens in the villages around Ng’ongo, will always be welcomed with dancing and singing. Here Thomas Ngwira, our project partner and managing director at ASUD, and the project officer are joining in the dancing!

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

The mothers who regularly work in the school garden and attend courses on organic farming techniques and permaculture take their new skills home with them and pass them on to other farmers. Towera Chawula, a lead farmer, supports a group of women in their village community in establishing their own permaculture garden. Here she is advising Witness Ngwira on problems in her garden.  

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

In the villages, the families are now also producing their own organic compost and are having good results with it. Thus they are less dependent on artificial fertiliser, which is expensive and harms the soil in the long term. The permaculture techniques also help them save water. For the farming families, the different methods of organic cultivation are crucial for a good harvest and for their economic independence.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

These women are part of a club in which the lead farmers pass on their acquired knowledge about nutrition, pig farming, compost production and organic farming to the follower farmers. Apart from the numerous advantages for the food situation and the economic independence of the families as well as for the school performance of the children, learning together in the communities is also great fun!

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

The two follower farmers grind their own organic maize in their village. After milling the white maize is processed into N’sima, a kind of thick polenta. The polenta is served with a sauce and is the most important staple food of the families.

Las Pioneras for a better life

Thousands of people from all parts of Peru move to the capital city in the hope of a better life. Due to the massive immigration and the uncontrolled settlement construction a second city has emerged around Lima in recent decades. Our partner organisation IDEMNNA (Instituto de Desarrollo “Maria Elena Moyano”) works in the community of Villa El Sol in Jicamarca where living conditions are extremely precarious: There is no basic supply of water and electricity. Violence, alcohol, drugs and the land trade cause massive problems. Most families live in extreme poverty. IDEMNNA works together with the

“LAS PIONERAS” FOR A BETTER LIFE

Thousands of people from all parts of Peru move to the capital city in the hope of a better life. Due to the massive immigration and the uncontrolled settlement construction a second city has emerged around Lima in recent decades.

Our partner organisation IDEMNNA (Instituto de Desarrollo “Maria Elena Moyano”) works in the community of Villa El Sol in Jicamarca where living conditions are extremely precarious: There is no basic supply of water and electricity. Violence, alcohol, drugs and the land trade cause massive problems. Most families live in extreme poverty. IDEMNNA works together with the women and their children in this project. The aim is to improve family life, to support the women in their personal development and independence and to strengthen solidarity in the community.

Photos EcoSolidar

Photoreport about the project in Peru

The environment in Jicamarca is barren and stony, there is hardly any green and the area looks hostile to life. People build their little houses on the hills and most of them secure their livelihood from day to day with casual work. There is no running water; people have to order water and pay on delivery. In the current corona crisis, the inhabitants of this area are facing even more difficult problems. IDEMNNA is therefore supporting them with information about corona and sanitary precautions.

Virginia Rivera Aquino (in the middle) is one of the women in the project. Tabita Lozano (right) and Carmen Velásquez (left) are the founders of IDEMNNA. These two women started the project in Jicamarca, a suburb of Lima, two years ago and invested their own savings. They are employed 50% each and take turns working with the local women. They accompany the women very closely and they put their heart and soul into this work.

At the centre of the work of IDEMNNA is a group of women. They meet regularly and talk about their experience with violence, difficulties in raising their children and other problems of everyday life. Most of them left their homes at a very young age and have experienced many disappointments. They had their children very early, are often single parents and can hardly cope with their situations. The meetings in the group are very important for the women; they exchange knowledge and develop strategies for survival and help each other solve their problems. At the same time the women are supported by IDEMNNA in their financial independence through the development of their own business ideas and with small loans as start-up aid.

The solidarity in the group means that they no longer put up with everything. They learn how they can support themselves and each other with their actions and resources. The group is a source of strength and growing self-confidence for them; so much so that they have given themselves the name “Las Pioneras”.

When Virginia moved to Jicamarca with her four sons two years ago, she had nothing. She took up any job she could get to earn some money. Eventually she started a plastic recycling business: She buys plastic and cleans it at home. She separates it from staples and cardboard and then resells it.

IDEMNNA supports women in the development and implementation of business ideas and gives them a start-up loan. The necessary purchases are made together with the women. Virginia used her loan to buy a larger stock of plastic and expand her business. Today she earns around 300 USD per month and is even thinking of employing another woman.

The women’s businesses usually start with an idea which they discuss with Tabita and Carmen and in the group. They also discuss positive and negative experiences. In the end the women create a business plan. Afterwards they receive a small start-up loan to make the necessary purchases for the implementation of their business ideas.

Virginia is a role model for the others, especially because of her successful business model. The women meet regularly in small groups and exchange views about work and family life. An important subject is the violence many of them have experienced in their lives. In the group they support each other and learn to defend themselves against violence and to live a non-violent life with their children.

Virginia lives together with three of her sons. The elder two work in a factory and contribute to the livelihood of the family. The youngest son still goes to school and after school he helps with the separation of the plastic. Virginia has experienced a lot of exploitation in her life and is very proud of owning her own business now and of having become more confident and less dependent on others.

Eulalia lives with her three sons and her husband. Living together is extremely difficult and often unbearable for her. In the women’s group Eulalia finds support and advice on how to deal with her situation. The situation has fortunately started to improve and Eulalia has found some hope.

Eulalia has invested her start-up loan into sewing machines, fabric and thread to expand her sewing business. She repairs clothes for customers. Her goal is to produce her own clothes, first on order and later independently for the market.

Eulalia has a small garden on the outside wall of her house where she grows tomatoes, herbs and lettuce. This is not easy, because water is a rare commodity in Jicamarca which has to be ordered and filled into water tanks for a fee. This quantity of water must suffice for everything, for drinking, cooking, washing and also for the garden.

Tabita and Carmen visit the women regularly at their homes and talk to them about their personal problems. Most of the women are single parents and their everyday life is strongly marked by the difficulties in raising their children single-handedly. Therefore, IDEMNNA also involves the children themselves in the work with the women.

Herlinda grates ice, mixes it with fruit syrup and sells it in the street. With IDEMNNA’s business start-up loan she bought a machine for crushing ice. She also sells honey and Algarrobina (carob), which she gets from her family in northern Peru.

The women meet with the children at Herlinda’s and enjoy the fruit ice she has made. Up to now they have met at different women’s homes. IDEMNNA has recently been able to rent a piece of land, on which a small meeting place is now being built for the women’s group.

Two of Erlinda’s four sons are just entering puberty. She is a single mother and often unable to cope with the problems in the family. In the women’s group she gains strength and courage and is able to share her concerns. At the same time the women also experience happy and funny moments together. They can be sure of the support of the others.

The involvement of the children in the project is of great importance. Tabita and Carmen have many years of experience in working with children in need. They know that the role of the mothers is crucial. Through the mothers the family life and the relationship between parents and their children can be influenced.

Indigenous youth between the Amazon and the city

More and more young people from indigenous village communities in the Peruvian Amazon region are moving to Puerto Maldonado to study. When they arrive in the city, many of them face existential problems.

Our partner organisation FENAMAD (Federación Nativa del Río de Madre de Dios y afluentes) supports the young people in their everyday lives so that they can complete their studies. FENAMAD’s student accommodation, Casa Miraflores, offers students a sheltered space where they can live and learn. A psychologist takes care of the young people individually in order to support them in planning their future and to strengthen their self-confidence.

Fenamed – Jugendliche aus indigenen Dorfgemeinschaften

Indigenous youth between the Amazon and the city

More and more young people from indigenous village communities in the Peruvian Amazon region are moving to Puerto Maldonado to study. When they arrive in the city, many of them face existential problems.

Our partner organisation FENAMAD (Federación Nativa del Río de Madre de Dios y afluentes) supports the young people in their everyday lives so that they can complete their studies. FENAMAD’s student accommodation, Casa Miraflores, offers students a sheltered space where they can live and learn. A psychologist takes care of the young people individually in order to support them in planning their future and to strengthen their self-confidence.

Photos EcoSolidar

Photo report about the project in Peru

Bessere Zukunft durch Ausbildung

Maribel Meshi Shanocua comes from the indigenous community of the Ese Eja. She is 26 years old and has a five-year-old daughter who lives with the grandparents. She wants to give her daughter a better future and therefore studies nursing in Puerto Maldonado. In Casa Miraflores she has found a safe home for the period of her studies.

Indigene Kinder benachteiligt vom BIldungssystem

Maribel is on her way from Casa Miraflores to her school. The educational system in Peru puts indigenous children and young people at a disadvantage right from the start. At the public schools the Spanish language dominates and the quality of the schools depends on the economic situation of the parents, which is particularly weak in the indigenous population. In order to get a good education the young people have to leave their communities.

Maribel is studying nursing in order to find a job in the health sector.

Peru Studentenunterkunft

Together with other indigenous young people she lives in Casa Miraflores, a student accommodation. The students do the housework together. In the kitchen they cook together, do the cleaning and talk about their day.

Leben indignere Familien

At home in the village: Maribel’s father is a fisherman and sells Brazil nuts he picks in the forest; her mother makes handicrafts and sells them in the city. The two have six more children. They are very happy when Maribel comes to visit them and tells them about her life in the city.

Asubildung Lehrperson für interkulturelle Bildung

Segundo Rogelio Zumaeta Saavedra comes from the indigenous community of the Yine. Because there are hardly any bilingual teachers in his community, he has decided to train as a teacher for intercultural education.

Indigene Dorfgemeinschaft – Kleinbäuerin

Segundo Rogelio with his mother. He is 24 years old and the youngest of 10 children. His mother is a smallholder and his father died when he was still very small.

Indigene Jugendliche – Peru

The difference between life in the city and life in the village is very big. In the conversations with indigenous young people it becomes clear how difficult it is for them to leave their families and the communities and how much they miss their lives at home. Segundo Rogelio helps prepare “Masato”, the traditional maize drink, during a visit at home.

Hochschule in Puerto Maldonado

Many parents send their children to a university in Puerto Maldonado if at all possible. Often, however, they can hardly afford the costs for accommodation and food in the city. Segundo Rogelio works in a restaurant in the city to earn money for his studies.

Internetzugang im Amazonasgebiet

Here Segundo Rogelio is seeking network connection for his phone. His village community is located far away from the city in the Amazon region.

Indigene Jugendliche Studienweg

The way home from the city is long and has to be covered by boat. Katya Mallea (front right), who takes care of the young people in Puerto Maldonado, sometimes accompanies them on their visits to their home villages.

Peru – Indigene Jugendliche Ausbildung in der Stadt

The balancing act the young people have to perform when they study in the city is great. It is not easy for them to find a new home in the city. At the same time they know that it is existential for their families and the whole community that they succeed in their endeavour. So there is a lot of pressure on the young people.

Fenamad – psychologische Unterstützung

Katya Mallea from FENAMAD is a psychologist at Casa Miraflores who looks after the young people. She supports them in school-related questions and in finding their way around the city without losing their cultural identity.

Gruppenworkshops zur Förderung der Sozialkompetenz

As a psychologist, Katya Mallea looks after the young people individually in order to strengthen their self-confidence and organizes group workshops to promote social competence and personality development. The focus is also on living together as a community. This care work is existential.

Casa Miraflores – Wohnheim für Jugendliche

Casa Miraflores was renovated in 2017 with the support of EcoSolidar. The kitchen and the bedrooms were renovated and a fence was built around the property, as the house is located in a rather dangerous area of Puerto Maldonado. The young people move around carefully and are glad that the house was provided with new doors and locks for security reasons.

Miraflores – Wohnheim für Studenten Peru

The students do the household chores together. They cook, clean and maintain the garden around the house, where they plant vegetables and flowers.

A better future thanks to Apprenticeships

Our partner organisation BSDA (Buddhism for Social Development Action) enables young people from very poor families in the region of Kampong Cham to complete an education so that they can have a better future. At BSDA the young people complete an 18-month training course. In the first six months they catch up on basic education and during a further year they complete an apprenticeship in the fields of mechanics, electronics, hotel business, gastronomy or beauty care.

A better future thanks to Apprenticeships

Our partner organisation BSDA (Buddhism for Social Development Action) enables young people from very poor families in the region of Kampong Cham to complete an education so that they can have a better future. At BSDA the young people complete an 18-month training course. In the first six months they catch up on basic education and during a further year they complete an apprenticeship in the fields of mechanics, electronics, hotel business, gastronomy or beauty care.

Photos EcoSolidar

Photo report about the project in Cambodia

Va Valong is 16 years old and lives in a village with his parents and three younger siblings. His family is very poor, his father works as a day labourer on the construction site and barely earns enough to feed the family. Va Valong had dropped out of school to help at home.

For five months now he has been training as a mechanic at BSDA. His mother has encouraged him to do this training. She says: “Of course he is missing as a help at home, but I wish for a better future for him. His life shall be less difficult than mine”.

During the training Va Valong lives together with other young people in “Smile Institute”. They cook and eat together and spend their free time here. The young people can learn new things about the world, laugh and forget their worries from home for a while.

Va Valong is doing his apprenticeship in the “Metta Garage”, a social enterprise of BSDA. Here he can gain practical experience and apply his knowledge immediately. He likes the training course, the teacher is friendly and explains things well.

Regularly there are theory lessons with the teacher, Chhit Mengly. His task is not easy. In teaching he has to consider the different educational levels of the young people as well as their sometimes difficult personal backgrounds. This takes time and requires patience.

Chhorn Sokheang is 16 years old and has been living in “Smile Institute” for eleven months. In the first six months she caught up on her school education. She likes reading. Here she is discussing her homework with a roommate.

Chhorn Sokheang at home: She is the second eldest of five children. Since her parents had no money for her school fees, she had to drop out of school. Although her parents miss her help at home, they are happy that she can live in “Smile Institute” and that she is well cared for.

She likes her training course in beauty care very much. The owner of the shop is very satisfied with her, because Chhorn Sokheang is proactive and helpful. That’s why she has already offered her a permanent position after one month of training.

Kim Tharoath is 15 years old and has been living in “Smile Institute” for eight months. She shares a dormitory with ten other girls. Here she is practising the alphabet with her friends. They help each other to learn.

Kim Tharoath has decided to study gastronomy. In “Smile Institute” she is assigned to the kitchen service and cooks for her roommates.

She completes her practical training in the “Smile Restaurant”, a social enterprise of BSDA. The “Smile Restaurant” serves as a training place for prospective cooks and service employees. Kim Tharoath can gain practical work experience in cooking and service here.

Sreykeo Chron has also made her training with BSDA in gastronomy and has been working in the restaurant of “Hanchey Bamboo Resort”, an ecological centre, since its opening in October 2018. In the meantime, she has become a team leader and is responsible for the service team. She trains young people who gain practical experience here during their training with BSDA. Her dream is to open her own restaurant one day.

“Hanchey Bamboo Resort” is another BSDA social enterprise. The ecological retreat centre for local and international guests serves as a training location where young people can complete an apprenticeship in gastronomy and hotel business.

The construction of the centre was effected in an ecological and socially sustainable fashion. Workers from the surrounding villages built the bungalow complex from bamboo and local soil and received training in this construction method.

The proceeds from “Hanchey Bamboo Resort” co-finance the educational programmes of BSDA.

Vin Dina also comes from a poor family and had dropped out of school to earn money. Her father learned about BSDA and three years ago she completed a cooking apprenticeship: “I learned to cook, but also a lot about living together with others. And I noticed that the world was bigger than I had thought it was”.

After her training, she gained further experience in various hotels. Today she is the proud owner of a small restaurant: “I am very satisfied, I have a lot of work, but I am my own boss. And I am very proud when my customers are satisfied.”

Together against anti-women violence

IEDS works in the region of Bangalore for a non-violent society and for the empowerment of women. The collective offers counselling for women affected by violence, in which husbands and families are also involved. SIEDS conducts workshops with women on the topic of violence. Women are strengthened and empowered to defend themselves against the various forms of violence at home and in society. SIEDS brings together members of the population, various social organisations and the authorities and involves them in the discussion on violence and equality.

Together against anti-women violence

SIEDS works in the region of Bangalore for a non-violent society and for the empowerment of women. The collective offers counselling for women affected by violence, in which husbands and families are also involved. SIEDS conducts workshops with women on the topic of violence. Women are strengthened and empowered to defend themselves against the various forms of violence at home and in society. SIEDS brings together members of the population, various social organisations and the authorities and involves them in the discussion on violence and equality. This is how the change towards equal rights for women at the social, official and legal levels may be effected. Photos EcoSolidar

Photo report about the project in India

The SIEDS office is always busy. The women and men who work here are very active and work with a lot of energy and commitment for the women affected by violence in Bangalore. They work together with women concerned and their families, lawyers and the authorities.

Shanta Bai is one of the women who have been working for SIEDS for a long time. She has a lot of experience and a large network in her communities. Thanks to her tireless efforts SIEDS has been able to achieve a lot.

Shanta conducts workshops, speaks to school classes and students, advises women affected by violence and does public relations work. She is often on the road and in conversation with everyone involved.

Rekha came into contact with SIEDS three years ago when she herself lived in miserable circumstances and in a relationship full of violence.

A lot has changed since then: She has left her violent husband and now passes on her experiences to women in similar situations as a consultant at SIEDS.

Mamatha Yajamman’s motivation for her commitment also derives from personal experiences with domestic violence. She has been advocating for women’s rights with SIEDS since 1996.

In her daily work, Mamatha looks after individual women who experience violence. She also conducts public relations work, organises sensitisation campaigns and speaks publicly about her work.

At universities and schools, young women and men discuss human trafficking and the violence among young people caused by poverty together with SIEDS. These issues were taken up under the influence of younger SIEDS team members.

The fact that young women can express themselves so decidedly and that men listen to them is not at all self-evident. In many schools, boys and girls do not talk to each other and it takes a while for them to get used to this change.

Whenever possible, SIEDS involves authorities such as the police in its work. On such occasions, police officers also have to face the accusation that the police often fail to respond to calls for help from women. Taking part in a public discussion on the subject of violence against women, they are forced to take a stand.

To be present in public is very important for the work of SIEDS. If, as here, the press shows interest, the topic is heard and the work of SIEDS is seen and noted by many people. A public statement by the police in front of the press increases the pressure on the state authorities to take a clear position and to effect changes.

The Bunong people are fighting for their future

The Bunong people are fighting for their future

The indigenous community of the Bunong is affected by land grabbing by international rubber companies. The loss of their land forces the Bunong to settle down and give up their traditional cultivation method. Our partner organisation BIPA (Bunong Indigenous People Association) has discovered in organic farming an alternative type of agriculture that allows the farmers to cultivate the small amount of land that remains to them more profitably. In addition to securing their livelihood, organic farming encourages the Bunong to work together again and thus strengthens their community.
Photos EcoSolidar

Photo report about the project in Cambodia

An einer Dorfversammlung erzählt sie von den Chancen, die der Biolandbau für die Zukunft bietet.

Singeab Kleok Keo is convinced of organic farming. At a village meeting she speaks about the opportunities that organic farming offers for the future. Singeab has been a long-time supporter of BIPA and is an important link between BIPA and the village communities.

Singeab will für die Zukunft der Bunong

Singeab is 30 years old and has four children. Her father has supported the Bunong community during the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese occupation and Singeab also wants to fight for the future of the Bunong.

Biologischer Kompost für das Pfefferfeld

Singeab has learned at BIPA how to produce biological compost. She distributes it around her young pepper plants. She and her husband own a pepper field where they grow organic pepper and they are part owners of a rice field where several families work together.

Biologischer Landbau, Pfefferpflanzen

Sometimes Singeab helps her husband on the rice field. But mostly she stays in the village with the children and takes care of the pepper plants.

Bunong – Zeremonie für die Reis-Geister

The women from Singeab’s family have a special task: they are responsible for the rice spirits. In order to ask for a good harvest, Singeab performs an elaborate ceremony in the rice field. The relationship to the spiritual world is of great importance for the Bunong and the respect for nature is omnipresent since according to their belief the spirits live in the land.

Waldrodung – Zerstörung von immer mehr Wald

Bewildered, the Bunong have to watch how more and more forest is destroyed. Valuable trees are brought out of the forest with large machines.

Neben der Existenzsicherung ist der Biolandbau auch ein Weg zum Frieden.

Neth Prak is deeply worried about the desperate situation of his community. Therefore, he has founded an association (BIPA) that is committed to the future of the Bunong. Besides securing the livelihood of the Bunong, organic agriculture is also a way to peace. The land problem fuels conflicts within the community. Organic farming brings the Bunong back to working together.

Diese Grabstätte liegt in einem kleinen Stück Wald, das den Landenteignungen noch nicht zum Opfer gefallen ist.

In their belief the world of spirits and ancestors is firmly connected with the forest. This graveyard is located in a small piece of forest that has not yet fallen victim to the land grabbing.

Neben den Monoplantagen entstehen neue Siedlungen mit Häusern, in denen die Angestellten der Kautschukfirmen leben

Next to the monoculture plantations, new settlements are being built where the workers of the rubber companies live.

Neth besucht die Familien regelmässig zuhause und tauscht sich mit ihnen aus.

Neth regularly visits the families at home and talks to them. This farmer has recently started planting Sacha Inchi. He talks to Neth about natural pesticides.

Im Biolandbau finden die Indigenen eine Alternative für ihre Existenzsicherung und Zuversicht und Hoffnung für ihre Gemeinschaft.

Nhong Prak and Ming Chuy are employed by BIPA. They advise the farmers in technical know-how. In organic farming the indigenous people have found an alternative method of cultivation to secure their livelihood as well as confidence and hope for their community.

Methoden des biologischen Landbaus.

Ming and Nhong ride their motorcycles from house to house and demonstrate methods of organic agriculture to the farming families in seven villages.

BIPA lehrt, biologischen Dünger herzustellen. Dorfgemeinschaft bewirtschaftet gemeinsam ein Pfefferfeld mit 600 Pfefferstangen.

Kros Sok (left) has learned how to produce organic fertilizer with BIPA. His village community jointly cultivates a pepper field with 600 pepper plants. The profit is divided among all the farmers and used e.g. for school fees or hospital costs. The vegetable field next to it is also community land and its produce belongs to everyone who works on it.

Anbau von biologischem Gemüse

This elderly woman is being advised by BIPA how to grow organic vegetable at home. She also plants a lot of garlic, which she loves.

Pokhat Seav mischt seinen flüssigen Dünger aus Kürbis, Papaya und Büffelkot mit menschlichem Urin, was sich gut auf seine Pfefferpflanzen auswirkt.

Pokhat Seav is a “fertilizer pioneer”: he produces a liquid fertilizer from a mixture of pumpkin, papaya and buffalo manure with human urine, which has a good effect on his pepper plants. At the beginning, the neighbours were making fun of Pokhat. Today nobody laughs about his fertilizer invention, because Pokhat’s pepper plants are growing excellently.

Neth im Garten einer Bäuerin, die mit der Beratung durch BIPA zum ersten Mal Sacha Inchi anpflanzt.

Neth Prak in the garden of a farmer who has planted Sacha Inchi for the first time on the advice of BIPA. Neth regularly visits the farming families at home and exchanges ideas with them.

Landrechtsforderungen, die Neth gegenüber den Firmen vertritt

Neth talks to a farmer about the current state of the land rights claims that he represents against the companies. The Bunong trust Neth because he takes their concerns seriously and keeps his promises. They respect him as a mediator within their community and as a representative of the Bunong in the official talks with the rubber companies.

Hier werden wichtige Themen wie Anbaupraktiken und Vermarktung von Produkten wie Avocado, Pfeffer und Sacha Inchi besprochen.

The farmers from the surrounding villages regularly gather in the office of BIPA. Here, important topics as for example cultivation practices and the marketing of products such as avocado, pepper and Sacha Inchi are discussed.

Many Bunong grow pepper today, which they can sell well. This gives them security in their vulnerable situation due to the land loss. However, they must continue to diversify their agricultural cultivation. BIPA therefore grows a variety of seedlings that are sold to the farmers at an affordable price.

Indigenous People raise their Voices

For centuries the indigenous people and their culture have been discriminated against in Peru. This suppression has lasted until today, above all in the educational system and in the media. This is where the radio project of Pukllasunchis comes in. Together with schools and women’s groups it produces bilingual radio programmes in Quechua and Spanish. By using the radio programmes in class children are taught in an interactive and creative way and induced to deal with the indigenous world view.

Indigenous People raise their Voices

For centuries the indigenous people and their culture have been discriminated against in Peru. This suppression has lasted until today, above all in the educational system and in the media. This is where the radio project of Pukllasunchis comes in. Together with schools and women’s groups it produces bilingual radio programmes in Quechua and Spanish. By using the radio programmes in class children are taught in an interactive and creative way and induced to deal with the indigenous world view. The radio broadcasts the bilingual programmes created by the children and the women’s groups. Thus indigenous knowledge and Quechua find their places in the media.

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in Peru

School in Tiracancha, Peru: José interviews Dania. Dania explains in Quechua the meaning of water in her everyday life, in her village and in the indigenous vision of the cosmos. The interview is later broadcasted on the radio.

Her classmates complement Dania’s story. They wear costumes to slip completely into their roles as frogs. The children choose the contents of their broadcasts themselves and implement their ideas in a very creative way.

Dania lives in Tiracancha, a little village in the Peruvian Andes. Mountains, rivers, corn and all of nature have a very important meaning here.

At home, Dania speaks Quechua with her parents and siblings.

At school, Dania and her classmates listen to bilingual programmes of other classes and regions. After the radio transmissions they discuss different aspects, themes and customs. The broadcasts are an important basis for the teachers to offer intercultural lessons.

Classes in Dania’s school were mainly held in Spanish up to now despite the fact that Dania and her classmates speak Quechua with each other and at home. Thanks to the radio project the teachers use both Quechua and Spanish in most of their lessons and integrate indigenous knowledge into their teaching.

Students and teachers present their broadcasts to the parents. The students regularly make interviews with members of the community while producing their radio broadcasts. Therefore the school is better taken note of by the parents and the community and plays a more important role. As a consequence the children’s school attendance has increased.

Victoria Hualla und Segundina Arroní are live on air today. Victoria Hualla has been educated as a radio speaker by Pukllasunchis. For her broadcasts Victoria Hualla involves the inhabitants of Santa Rosa. The broadcasts are in Quechua.

Victoria Hualla is part of a women’s group in Santa Rosa. In her broadcasts she gives an important voice to the women of Santa Rosa. This year the group has chosen to focus on the protection of the ecosystem of the Andes in their radio transmissions.

Victoria Hualla lives with her husband Alipio and their two children close to Santa Rosa. As a radio speaker Victoria is often out and about. Alipio is very proud of her job and her engagement in the women’s group.

Emiliano Ramos is telling a story from the Andes in the recording studio of Pukllasunchis. He is 76 years old.

Ysabel Palomino Gutiérrez, radio speaker and co-worker at Pukllasunchis advises Mr. Ramos how his story could sound better. Raul records the story and generally puts the final touches on the sound recordings of the children and the women’s groups.

The next radio programme is completed. Ysabel is handing over the recordings to the broadcast station Santa Monica in Cusco.

Local and regional radios broadcast the programmes of Pukllasunchis. Pukllasunchis has an agreement with different broadcast stations in the cities and in the country.

Alejandro Flores Guerra is the director of the broadcast station Nueva Vida de Tiracancha.

Pukllasunchis produces the programmes “Sisichakunaq Pukllaynin”, “The Antplay” for kids and Quiñi Quiñicha, “Hot and cold” for adults.

The programs of Pukllasunchis are very popular in the cities as well as in the country. At Ms. Marcelina Paukar Puna’s market stall in the centre of Cusco the programmes are broadcasted every day. The clients are enthusiastic about the programmes of Pukllasunchis.

The broadcasts also facilitate the work on the fields. Mr. Ipolito Huanaco can now listen to his favourite broadcasts in his mother tongue. In addition he appreciates the information about agriculture in the programmes of Pukllasunchis. He gets to know how farmers in other regions of the country cultivate their land.

The broadcasts of Pukllasunchis are also regularly listened to at work on the salt terraces. The radio still plays an important role in Peru. Especially in such remote areas it is the means of communication people use to keep informed.

Food security for farmers with a disability

In Salima, Malawi, KODO introduces (walking-impaired) farmers who have a walking handicap to the basic techniques of organic agriculture and supports their practical implementation. For the people with a walking handicap and their relatives this is a major step towards independence. KODO supports a total of 150 families in 5 communities, Maumsamantha Chimithira and Tobias Mafuken among them.

Food security for farmers with a disability

In Salima, Malawi, KODO introduces (walking-impaired) farmers who have a walking handicap to the basic techniques of organic agriculture and supports their practical implementation. For the people with a walking handicap and their relatives this is a major step towards independence. KODO supports a total of 150 families in 5 communities, Maumsamantha Chimithira and Tobias Mafuken among them.

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in Malawi

The walking-impaired Maumsamantha Chimithira is on the way to her small piece of land. The 34-year-old farmer is a single parent and has to provide for her four children.

Maumsamantha has a handicap in walking due to a failed operation in her childhood. Medical care in Malawi is inadequate. Leg pain is part of Maumsamantha’s daily life.

Maumsamantha lives together with her four children and her parents in modest circumstances in Ntschepa, Malawi. The family unites in taking care of the fields and processing the harvest.

Off to the neighbouring village: Maumsamantha is one of the lead farmers trained by KODO. She passes on her know-how to other smallholders, so that they can also learn about the advantages of organic agriculture.

The role of a lead farmer gives Maumsamantha great prestige and a new place in the community. This fills her with pride.

George Chimpiko, director of KODO, gives Maumsamantha courage and confidence in difficult times. He was born with a clubfoot and knows how hard it is to find one’s way with a disability in Malawi.

Maumsamantha has learned with KODO how to produce compost and apply other organic farming methods. Since then she has been able to do without expensive hybrid seeds and toxic pesticides.

Mealtime: Maumsamantha and her family can live from their harvests. This is a great achievement, because Malawi has been hit by severe droughts and food shortages in recent years.

Hunger and malnutrition are widespread in Malawi. This is where KODO comes in: People with disabilities should be able to produce their own food with simple means and little money.

In Chimpaga, Malawi, charismatic Tobias Mafuken introduces his community members to organic agriculture. He has been trained as a lead farmer by KODO.

Tobias has four children and a wife who supports him loyally. Tobias is glad that thanks to KODO’s training he can provide for his family despite his disability.

Tobias lives with his family in very modest circumstances. A small room, some containers for the meals, a few blankets and tools have to be enough for the family of six. They have no access to electricity or running water.

With great persuasiveness Tobias shows other farmers how compost is produced. For him, the advantages of organic agriculture are clear: no dependence on expensive seeds and chemical pesticides, a better quality of the produce and long-term soil fertility.

The hard work on the field was worth it. Tobias and his family can live from the harvest again this year. His wife lets the corn dry in the sun.

The village community of Chimpanga has received three goats from KODO as an aid to start organic agriculture. Through the goat manure the fertility of the soil will be increased and the harvest will be richer in the long run.

Although Tobias has to walk on crutches, he can do a lot of agricultural work on his own. His wife supports him with the rest, for example with the production of liquid fertilizer.

Tobias, whose walking disability is due to a snake bite in his childhood, is not the only one with this fate. KODO enables farmers with disabilities and their relatives to achieve independence.

Despite his disability Tobias is a recognised member of the community thanks to his work as a lead farmer.

CIRCO FANTAZZTICO, a circus project

Circo Fantazztico, a social project, offers socially endangered children and young people from poor districts of San Isidro, Costa Rica, leisure-time activities and an alternative to gang crime. The circus project gives them a new perspective in a difficult social environment. It provides the participants with a social community and a safe space and allows them to spend their free time in a meaningful, positive and healthy way. The Circo offers weekly courses for more than 200 children and young people where they are taught artistic skills in different age groups.

From the street to the stage
CIRCO FANTAZZTICO, a circus project

Circo Fantazztico, a social project, offers socially endangered children and young people from poor districts of San Isidro, Costa Rica, leisure-time activities and an alternative to gang crime. The circus project gives them a new perspective in a difficult social environment. It provides the participants with a social community and a safe space and allows them to spend their free time in a meaningful, positive and healthy way. The Circo offers weekly courses for more than 200 children and young people where they are taught artistic skills in different age groups. The training courses are offered by volunteers and former artists. The individual needs of every single child are considered and their individual strengths are taken as a basis to build upon. In this photo report the every-day life of two young artists is depicted.

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in Costa Rica

Jennifer’s (16 years old) mother works and lives in the USA and sends money home regularly, so that her daughter can sometimes buy herself things that other people in her environment can hardly afford. The wireless in the house enables Jennifer to keep in touch with her mother. She has the only picture of her mother on her smartphone.

The flat is furnished with only few belongings. On the right wall hangs a picture of the grandmother who raised Jennifer and her siblings. She died a few years ago.

After the grandmother’s death the siblings were looked after by an aunt who lives next door. The eldest brother was in prison in San José for three years and has been missing since. When Jennifer was two years old, her mother went to the USA without a legal permit. Recently Jennifer has learned that her mother somehow managed to get a visitor permit for her. That would allow a reunion after a very long time.

Besides going to school and following regular training courses at Circo Fantazztico, Jennifer and her sister spend a lot of time with their elder cousin, Alexandra. She lives next door and is a shining example for Jennifer, because she has already been on a European tour with the Circo.

As Jennifer’s neighbourhood is considered one of the safer ones in the area, the girls often walk together to school. School hours are from 10 am until 2 pm.

After school they are collected together with other children and young people by the Circo-bus and are taken to the training places. For many this is the only opportunity to participate in the training sessions, because they live in remote villages.

This year Jennifer will participate in the European tour for the first time. With Alexandra she trains acrobatics, dance and her beloved vertical rope already more frequently than the usual once or twice a week. The Circo has become her second family and offers her a protected area where she is supported and feels herself an important member of the group.

Acrobatics at the vertical rope is trained next to the house of the volunteers. The voluntary supervisors that come from abroad for a temporary period to help in the Circo possess athletic, artistic and pedagogical abilities.

Jennifer and Yeron at a training session in the main training hall of Circo Fantazztico. Both of them managed to get into the closer selection this year because their final marks at school were good and they participated regularly in the training sessions. They will travel through Europe with a group of 20 people for two months and they will present their new piece “The witch’s dance”.

The lightweight Yeron (16 years), on top of the pyramid, is lucky. His school supports the young people who participate in Circo Fantazztico in their free time. The school management sees the Circo as an important factor in the development of the students because it offers a reasonable and healthy leisure time activity in an often unstable environment.

Yeron, the young artist, is not the only member of the Circo at this public school; there are others who have already participated in the Circo’s European tours. Here we see Roland Spendlingwimmer, the manager of our partner organisation VIDA NUEVA, who founded Circo Fantazztico and regularly contacts the schools.

To be allowed to participate in the European tour regular school attendance and good marks are required. This Year Yeron will participate in the European tour for the second time he and trains daily in preparation of his trip to Europe.

In the poor neighbourhood of Cocori the drug business is omnipresent. That’s why people are advised to be cautious in the streets and in the parks. Yeron and his family know where one shouldn’t be found at certain times of the day. They are always vigilant and move around in groups.

The distances to school and to the training sessions are long. But there are enough opportunities and enough room on their way there for the boys to practise and test their abilities in a playful way.

Yeron, who is rather shy and quiet, enjoys the company of his best friends and practices somersaults in the open street. In the Circo he is mostly placed on top of the pyramid and is whirled through the air by his colleagues because he is such a lightweight.

For this picture all the family members have come together in the garden. Yeron lives in an extended family that is intact, a rather rare case. The family lives in financial difficulties, but nevertheless supports him in his progress as an artist. Everyone is very proud of his taking part in the European tour for the second time.

An important place for the boys in the neighbourhood is the mango tree, where they can tell stories to each other, exchange their news and relax.

Yeron likes to pass on his artistic know-how to the younger generation. During the football game he reveals tips and tricks from the circus world.

Education for children and young people in need

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. About one third of the population lives below the poverty line. One way to escape the cycle of poverty is through education and vocational training. Our local project partner BSDA provides scholarships to the poorest families so that their children can attend school. The organisation offers courses in English, tutoring as well as traditional dance and music lessons. Young people who have dropped out of school due to their poverty are enabled to catch up on basic education and to complete an apprenticeship.

BSDA – Eine bessere Zukunft dank Berufslehren

Education for children and young people in need

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. About one third of the population lives below the poverty line. One way to escape the cycle of poverty is through education and vocational training. Our local project partner BSDA provides scholarships to the poorest families so that their children can attend school. The organisation offers courses in English, tutoring as well as traditional dance and music lessons. Young people who have dropped out of school due to their poverty are enabled to catch up on basic education and to complete an apprenticeship. Our project partner in Kampong Cham supports more than 900 children and young people from extremely poor backgrounds.

Photos Christian Jaeggi

Photo report about the project in Cambodia

Lae is 15 years old and lives with her parents and siblings in very poor conditions in a suburb of Kampong Cham, Cambodia.

Her mother has had a walking disability from birth; therefore she can only work irregularly. The prostheses and the medical care are a big financial challenge for the family.

Lae has a sister and a brother. Her father works as a taxi driver. He works hard. Still, his income is not enough to fully provide for the family.

The family of Lae hardly manages to pay for their own food, not to mention for school uniforms and schoolbooks. Thanks to the scholarship Lae can visit the school regularly.

Lae goes to school by bike. She is not the only one… On her way she meets many of her classmates. Her bike is provided by BSDA so that she doesn’t have to spend money on the bus or the tuk-tuk.

After school Lae goes dancing Apsara, a traditional Cambodian dance she has learnt at BSDA.

Lae has been one of the first Apsara dancers at BSDA. Meanwhile, she has begun to pass on her fascination for dancing to younger participants.

At public performances, which are very successful and popular, Lae and the whole dance and music group earn some additional money.

Srey is 15 years old. His father left the family many years ago. His mother is a single parent and works as a construction worker for 3 USD a day.

As the only man in the family, Srey had to take on a lot of responsibility in the household at a young age. At the age of 11 Srey started to work in a restaurant to support the family financially. Srey worked from 5:00 in the morning until 9:30 at night.

Because of these working hours Srey could no longer attend school. When Srey heard about the BSDA programme, he decided to catch up on the school education he had missed.

In addition, Srey had the opportunity to complete a vocational training at the „Smile Institute“. Srey first tried out different kinds of work such as weaving, tailoring and mechanics.

Finally, he decided on an apprenticeship as a cook. Since then Srey has regularly helped prepare the meals at the „Smile Institute“.

Besides an apprenticeship Srey has found a new family in the „Smile Institute“. He is living here with other young people for one and a half years in a programme of sheltered living. Since many of the young people come from broken families and have difficult backgrounds, they also get psychological support.

Lunch time at the Smile Restaurant in Kampong Cham. A part of Srey’s apprenticeship as a cook takes place in this restaurant of BSDA. The restaurant functions as a social enterprise.

Thanks to its friendly staff, delicious meals and the excellent location on the banks of the Mekong River, the social enterprise attracts many tourists and locals. The restaurant is self-sustaining.

In the future, more disadvantaged young people such as Srey and Lae will find a sheltered apprenticeship position in a retreat centre outside Kampong Cham. The construction is well underway: The restaurant, the meditation hall and the bungalows will all be built out of bamboo and local materials. The construction workers are people from the surrounding communities. The revenues from this centre for local and international guests will be used for the social programs of BSDA.