Progressio development worker Karina Cuba writes:

It was a busy week for me and my two colleagues in the Gender Department of Solidaridad Fronteriza. Our focus is working with mothers’ groups, women’s groups and migrants’ groups on food security, good nutrition, and preventive health care.

The groups are so motivated

We met with each of the mothers’ groups we are supporting in Cruz de Campera, Partido and Loma. We wanted to help them plan their activities for the year ahead. In particular, we will support them in pressing the local authorities and state institutions to do what is needed to help poor and marginalised people and communities.

The groups are so motivated that they want to start right away, but I think they will achieve more if we help them plan a strategy for awareness raising and advocacy, and show them some ways to do it to get the best results.

More funds needed to reach vulnerable families

Unfortunately we had to give them some bad news too. At this moment funds for supporting activities with mothers’ groups, especially to help set up more small family gardens, train and equip people in raising chickens, and installing eco-kitchens (ecological stoves and water filters), are not secured for this year.

We are currently working with some small extra funds, but we cannot reach all vulnerable families at risk of malnourished children.

Women show commitment and dedication

But their reaction was simply overwhelming. They are so motivated that they are themselves supporting the work with contributions, such as refreshments for the training sessions and paying their own transport costs. Some of these women have to travel from very isolated communities with bad infrastructure and public transportation. Their committment and dedication are encouraging and an extra motivation for us to raise more funds.

There’s better news on the work with migrant families, though. We received the green light for activities with ASOMELIN (Association of Haitian Migrants) and some extra funds have been allocated for these activities.

A great step forward in working with migrant families

We had planned only a plilot project, with just some elements of the training in food and nutritional security and preventive health care. But now we’ll be able to deliver the full package to beneficiary groups of migrants, including installation of gardens and henhouses, distribution of assets and chickens, as well as the construction of eco-kitchens.

This is a great step foward and a huge motivation for the migrant families who live in extremly vulnerable conditions in the communities of Restauración.

Photo: Karina Cuba (middle) with Amada Bernal and Quisqueya Proud-Homme, members of the Mothers Club in Partido, Dominican Republic (photo © Fran Afonso/Progressio)

Blogs Read more stories from our food security project

Return to Food for a better future home page