Ecuador, Carchi, Chalamúas community, Chalamúas community, September 2012
The Campo Elias Bravo School serves the Chalamúas community in the province of Carchi, Ecuador, close to the border with Colombia. Of the thirty-two children attending this school, 40 percent are Colombian or their parents come from Colombia. Many have fled violence to seek refuge on this side of the border. But life goes on: children need to go to school and also to eat in order to be able to concentrate in their studies.
Thanks to a generous gift from Brazil, the World Food Programme delivers its rations to schools in vulnerable areas close to the border. School children have the opportunity to eat a hot meal at lunch that is complemented with fruits and vegetables produced locally by small farmers. Small farmer associations – most of them formed by women - take their produce every Monday to the schools, and parents get organized to help prepare meals for their children. It is important that children are well fed in order to have the energy and enthusiasm to concentrate in classes and also to play.
Children and their families are learning in school about the importance of a good nutrition. Now they know that a dish should be colorful, have carbohydrates, vegetables and proteins. There is something very good in this school: Even though there is no space for an orchard the cooperation of the parents is excellent, and a parent has lent a portion of land for the school orchard. Teachers and children are planting a vegetable garden that will yield products for children’s meals in a short time. That way, their dishes will continue to have many colors along with the white Brazilian rice.
All Photos: WFP/Leonardo Hinojosa