Pumping new life into the community
“Today, there are 15 families in our village, and we are producing more than what we used to,” says Martin, farmer and father of five.
“Before we were worried when there were no rains, but now we don’t; we can irrigate the land with water from the river using the new water pump,” explains his son Daniel. Together, they told us how the life of their community in Bolivia had been regenerated thanks to the support of World Vision sponsors.
“I live here. This is my community. It is a good place. Sometimes my dad travels to work but most of the time he is here. I help him in everything, with the cow, with the land - in everything,” 15-year-old Daniel explains. Their family is one of the fifteen that live in a small community in Bolivia. Together with his wife Lidia, Martin has five sons and daughters - in addition to Daniel, there's Benedicta, 18, Rufina, 11, Miriam, nine and Carmen Rosa, four.
Martin still remembers how the community used to stuggle in the past.
“There weren’t many people here, no more than seven or eight families. We were worried because everyone was thinking of migrating to the cities. It was in this time that World Vision gave us the project of clean water. They also invited us to think about the future; about our children’s well-being and how, with hard work, we could stay and live in good conditions in the same community.”
In 2012, the local government and World Vision delivered clean water systems to several communities that didn’t have good access to this vital resource. Microtunnels (small, inexpensive greenhouses) were also set up so families could grow their own vegetables and feed themselves with nutritious food all year round.
One of the children now benefitting from the microtunnels is Daniel. “It is very hot in here, it feels like the tropic! Here, we grow cucumber, chard, achojcha and tomato. With these vegetables, my mum cooks soups and meals,” he told us whilst collecting some cucumbers in the steamy air.
In the community, families supplement their meals by growing their own vegetables in open fields. They grow onions, carrots, turnips and others. But before we began working with the community, they had a recurring problem. Much of their land relied on rainwater; the existing irrigation system was not enough to supply a whole field.
“One day in the schoolyard, everyone gathered. They were happy because we were all about to receive a special gift,” Daniel recalls. The news that someone from a faraway place was sending a special gift spread through the whole community. That person was the sponsor of his sister, Carmen Rosa.
World Vision worked with the community to find the best way to spend this generous gift. Martin and the other community leaders got together to decide on something that would benefit all the families, and they decided on a pump which would help families grow crops, their main source of income.
“It was unbelievable. We couldn’t believe my little daughter’s sponsor was sending money for everyone. We chose to buy a water pump to irrigate our crops,” Martin remembers proudly.
“This water pump has boosted a community that was close to an end. Families were about to leave the community because there was not a good harvest, and as a consequence, no money."
“Before we were worried when there was no rain, but now we don’t need to; we can irrigate the land with water from the river using the water pump,” Daniel says proudly. This water pump has not only helped to irrigate crops but also brought the community closer together, and helped families flourish.