Bolivia – Better Nutrition, Better Learning

**The Alto Beni, Bolivia Breakfast Program has been successfully transitioned into the hands of local municipalities.** 

Indigenous women’s enterprise improves whole community health

In a region where 63% of households are unable to provide the minimum caloric intake for their families, this project puts food on the table in Alto Beni, Bolivia. Women work collectively to produce more food, create nutritious & marketable food products and then sell them to the school breakfast program, ensuring children are well nourished and thus able to learn.

Addressing Food Deficits

Moseten Indigenous peoples living in the Alto Beni region of Bolivia are currently facing high rates of poverty and malnourishment. Due to the lush rainforest geography and climate, many non-indigenous peoples have migrated to the area to work in the logging industry, along with banana and citrus fruit plantations. Resources are being over-exploited by industry, and damaging the delicate rainforest ecosystem.

Rural and indigenous populations depend heavily on subsistence agriculture and people frequently experience food deficits due to recurrent natural disasters and fluctuations in food prices. These factors affect the nutritional status of children, causing serious levels of chronic malnutrition. Many single women farmers lack technical and managerial capacity to grow and market their produce for a fair price.

Collective Organizing for Food Security

The story of the student who must walk long distances to reach his/her school and spends much of the day hungry is a common one. Since the federal government passed its National Development Plan in 2007, reiterating the responsibilities of municipalities to assume a school breakfast program, local citizens have pressured their municipal governments to fulfill their obligations to local school children.

This project provides equipment, materials and training workshops to six Moseten indigenous women’s federations to improve sustainable agriculture practices, food security, food processing capacity, and small-scale business management skills. Nutritious food products are harvested, processed and sold by the women’s federations to the school breakfast program to improve the nutrition and health of local children.

This exciting project promotes sustainable income generation programs and collective organizing for small-scale economic development to improve food security.

Project Partner

Fundacion Renace is Bolivian-based social and environmental NGO with a 6-year history working with indigenous and rural campesino communities on sustainable agriculture projects. The Moseten Indigenous Women’s Group has been organizing in their communities for many decades, providing social and emotional support to women, and encouraging participation in community decision making.

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