By Amanda Cooper
Recently, Rick and Mary Beth had the opportunity to visit three Supply Chain Outreach-supported projects focused on food security, potable water, and sanitation with coffee farmers in Nicaragua.
They spent two days in Matagalpa with members of the coffee cooperative CECOCAFEN conducting Most Significant Change interviews. As the name implies, they asked the project participants what was significantly different in their lives as a result of the food security project. Many they spoke with told them that ‘the thin months’ had changed: they not only had more food, but also more diverse food year-round or nearly year-round now – a big change from 4 years ago, before the project started, when most reported 3-4 months of extreme scarcity of food every year.
They also spent time with nonprofit Water for People in Jinotega learning about their progress towards providing year-round access to potable water and improved sanitation in homes and schools. In Estelí, GMCR supports a project with CII-ASDENIC, a local Nicaraguan nonprofit, that brought potable water to people’s homes, allowing them to leave behind the chore of walking several hours each day up the mountain to get water for their family. The families also received vegetable seeds that allowed them to establish family gardens, providing another source of nutritious food throughout the year.
They spent their final day with our Nicaraguan project partners in a training focused on our guidelines for how projects should monitor and report their progress and impact to GMCR. It was a great conversation and we are eager to follow the projects’ progress and continue to share this exciting work with all of GMCR.