Miquel and Mireia are two of the ambassadors of Worldcoo that, in a voluntary way, help us to audit and visit some of the projects we have helped to fund with the help of all the “companies with a cause” that collaborate with us.
Some months ago, they went to Camboya, where they had the opportunity to know first-hand the labor that the NGO S.A.U.C.E. does, an entity that, since 2011, helps people at risk of social exclusion of the zone.
Now, they have travelled to Sopachuy, one of the villages with major childhood malnutrition index in Bolivia. In fact, every 100 kids in Sopachuy, 24 present a state of chronic malnutrition. Through the help of Nicequest users, the NGO Ayuda en Acción was able to increase the availability of food resources, teach how to increase family income from cultivation and promote good hygiene practices and responsible consumption. You can remember the project HERE.
We spoke with Miquel and Mireia about their experience after visiting Sopachuy with Ayuda en Acción.
Miquel and Mireia, how do you describe Sopachuy?
Sopachuy is a municipality formed by 9 communities spread over a wide territory. We went to Amancaya, one of the most important. To get there, it took us 4 hours by car from Sucre, the nearest city. The last hour and a half, the road became an unpaved road that usually becomes impassable in times of heavy rains. There is no type of transport that reaches the community, and the only way for the inhabitants to leave is on foot.
The community has an agrarian subsistence economy organized in family gardens. Most of the corn is grown and vegetables and vegetables have recently been introduced. There is a very basic livestock based on pigs and animals for field work.
The streets of the village are dirt with large holes made by rainwater. The houses are made of adobe, although they are beginning to build with billets. Since 3 years ago, the houses have electricity. Running water is not present in all houses and is not potable, and for this reason most people go to the river to wash their clothes, clean themselves and pick them up for cooking and drinking.
The community has a health center that includes 4 other communities (San Isidro, Achatalas, Chavarria and Alisos) and a primary and secondary school. This year they have 250 students between 6 and 16 years old. Some of the children have to walk up to an hour and a half every day to get to school.
How are its inhabitants?
The inhabitants of Amancaya are Quechua and this is their mother tongue. They are extended families and usually have more than 4 children. Their educational level is very basic, probably the majority only came to attend primary school. In general we seem introverted and closed people.
They are Catholics and maintain some traditions related to the Pachamama and the tribute to the land.
What are the main consequences after the implementation of the social program promoted by Ayuda en Acción?
The main effects easily visible in the community have been the improvements in the school (new kitchen, sink, yard cleaning), the new health center and the improvement in the hygienic and alimentary habits of the population.
Thanks to the actions carried out, cases of child malnutrition (under 5 years of age) have been reduced. Before the start of the project, 21% of the children suffered from severe malnutrition, now 5%.
During the visit, you have had the opportunity to talk with some of the families that participated in the project. What do they think about it?
After the visit to Sopachuy, the gratitude is the most common and sincere feeling that all its inhabitants transmitted to us. It is highly valued that the help has been made in the form of “action” in which they have had to take part because they have felt involved and have been aware that in their hands is the possibility of improving and pulling ahead.
Elvira, elementary school teacher says, “What I liked about this project is that they made us work. Help comes and goes, but the spark to work hasn’t left.
Although the project ended a few weeks ago, the habitants of Sopachuy continue to work in order to continue improving their quality of life. What are their priorities today?
In order, their priorities are:
- Maintain habits learned in hygiene and healthy eating.
- Retain young people in school so that they finish high school.
- Settle the agrarian economy to avoid having to leave the town.
- Health challenges related to HIV, pregnancies in adolescence and continue working in the monitoring of malnutrition.
In general, how would you describe the experience of your visit in Sopachuy?
Being able to visit this project has given us the opportunity to get to know another reality of Bolivia, a reality that is widespread but unknown at the same time. The rural environment lives in precarious conditions and with a very low quality of life.
In relation to the project, we were very pleased to be able to visit a success story in which the involvement of all the affected agents (NGOs, teachers, health center, parents, students, municipal government) has been achieved to achieve its objective. And this is palpable with the reactions of the people; they have assimilated and acquired the NGO’s proposals as their own.
Finally, we have corroborated that the great advances are made with small actions. The most important thing is that they are appropriate proposals and adapted to the needs and capacities of the area of action. In this specific case, we have seen an action plan that fits with the casuistry of the environment and this has led to the success of the project.