Harvest is a time of abundance and plenty, a time to celebrate and share the fruition of a hard year’s work. On this Harvest Fast Day, CAFOD are asking our supporters to join together on 7 October to help the families of the Altiplano in the South American country of Bolivia to grow more food.
At 4,000 metres above sea level, the Bolivian Altiplano plain is a difficult place to live, and now the highly agricultural community is being adversely affected by the effects of climate change. Unpredictable rains and frequent hailstorms are destroying crops which the community relies on. Men are being forced to leave their families for months at a time, travelling to the cities to find work, leaving the women and children to work the land by themselves.
In Bolivia, nearly 60% of the rural population are living below the poverty line.
During the Year of Mercy, we are called to feed the hungry. This Harvest, we are calling on our supporters to join us in helping to create a fairer world. A world where we can share the richness of our common home with all our brothers and sisters, so they too can live their lives to the full.
By investing in the building of greenhouses, the provision of seeds and materials, the teaching of new farming techniques and by providing technical staff to educate the community on how to build wormeries and make their own organic fertiliser, our partners help people not only to grow enough food to feed their families but also to have some left to sell.
Mother of four, Nicanora, lives on a small farm on the Bolivian Altiplano. She is a strong woman working in hard conditions to feed her family. She said, “On a normal day when we don’t have much food, we eat barley soup. When we eat just this soup all day, we get tired very quickly.”
She and her neighbours are about to start a two-year journey to build a vegetable garden, greenhouse and wormery, and to improve irrigation to her land. Working alongside CAFOD’s local partner, an organisation called Nuna, she is now very optimistic for next year’s Harvest. “I have a lot of hopes for the future working with Nuna. The thing I am most excited about is being able to grow more food and being able to sell my crops.”
You can help the communities of Bolivia by joining the two-year Hands On Project. A gift of just £5 a month can build two wormeries and provide worms to bring rich compost, and you’ll be sent regular updates on how the community is developing with your support.
Or a one-off donation of £10 this Harvest can provide a family with seeds to start their own vegetable garden. You can also join Harvest Fast Day by volunteering with CAFOD to speak at Mass to spread the word in your local parish and by joining us in praying for our brothers and sisters who do not have enough food this Harvest.
To find out more about how you can get involved in the Harvest appeal, please visit cafod.org.uk/harvest.