Giving Back: As a way to celebrate my birthday week & the abundance I’ve been given in this life, I decided to sponsor a Brasilian village via World Vision Brasil to help increase its capacity to make its own herbal medicines and market its organic foods.
My donations will go through World Vision Brasil because of a visit my husband and I took there earlier this spring. The purpose of the Brasil trip was to see innovations in community and economic development around the country.
And while World Vision is primarily known for it’s Christian-based, child sponsorship program; World Vision BR showcased to us some of the coolest collaborative programs that were truly helping people and communities build capacity to lead better lives. Having a background in NGOs, I was truly impressed by their best practices, solid partnerships and real life testimonies from the communities they serve.
Of all the stops, (we visited the favellas of Fortaleza, Sao Paulo and rural villages outside of Fortaleza in Mossorro and Apodi), Apodi was one of my favorite visits. Located in the north country of Brasil, Apodi is in a climate that is semi-arid, with little regular rainfall, making agriculture difficult.
We met the coolest, most resilient farmers (mostly women!!) in Apodi —Absolutely beautiful people. The villagers showed us their orchards, their bee hives, honey processing and cheese processing areas with great pride.
Small micro-loans from World Vision have helped the village build the processing facilities the farmers need for their harvests. Having these facilities has made it possible for the small-scale farmers to have access to larger markets to sell their processed pulps. The loans have also helped women grow their value-added businesses, which in turn has increased the home’s economic independence greatly.
This, coupled with President Lula’s progressive poverty alleviation strategies (affordable housing, local food production/food security policies) makes it possible for the families of Apodi to make about $750/mo.
And while there are still stark contrasts between the classes in Brasil, forward- thinking, private-public partnerships like those World Vision facilitates are truly giving hope to a country that has struggled with domestic instability for decades. There is truly a sense of hopeful-ness among the people. And that’s inspiring.
Contrast that with what is going on in the U.S. … well, that’s for another post.
Here’s to helping my fellow plant friends in Brasil. May they continue to be resilient, their crops bountiful and medicines healing. And may I continue to be mindful of my blessings, try to live more simply, and always be focused on improving the world around me.