Food, water and the promised land

These are short stories of Flow Funding that happened across six different Brazilian states during the year of 2020, reported by Aline, social-environmental activist specialised in water protection, food sovereignty and indigenous rights.





The 30 families that live in Aldeia Nova Vida do not have access to drinking water. Despite being located on Envira River's banks, the proximity to the city with no sewer treatment makes the water unsuitable for use. Currently, families cook, shower and drink water from the freshwater dam that the government built decades ago for animal watering. They also use rainwater when there is. The water in the reservoir is very muddy, has a high organic matter load, and is also unsuitable for human consumption. Only a sophisticated treatment would make these waters potable. The more affordable alternative is to use groundwater, but the health ministry's promises never come true and meanwhile, the population suffers from outbreaks of diarrhoea.

The resources of this Flow will be 100% used to build a well in the community. According to their leader, this will raise the quality of life of his people, who now begins to dream of a next step: building a small distribution network that takes water from the new well to the taps in the houses, thus putting an end to the need to walk to fetch good water.



 

The 500 families at Camp Marielle Vive, in Valinhos, São Paulo, Brazil, face many difficulties during pandemic times. In addition to rising food prices and unemployment, the Camp does not have a sufficient drinking water supply. People need to walk and carry water for up to 1km. The funds raised will implement a water distribution network for domestic use and expand irrigated community gardens.




"In addition to the mandala garden, the communal kitchen provides all meals from the first day of the camp. The garden's own production supplies the dishes that are prepared daily. Less than three years of work have already recovered springs and implemented new food proposals among the camped families. Besides, the surplus production is donated to other families and hospitals in the region." Brasil de Fato

 

The Terra Prometida Settlement has existed for 14 years. It is located in Duque de Caxias and Nova Iguaçu, the State of Rio de Janeiro, close to essential biodiversity reserves. The territory results from a 22-year struggle for Agrarian Reform by the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), where 60 families currently live, each responsible for an average of 7 hectares of land for cultivation. They collectively take care of 185 hectares of preserved forest, often threatened by illegal exploitation by agents outside the community. The economic base of the settlement is agroecological cultivation, free of pesticides. The community's principle is to sell these foods at affordable prices in low-income neighbourhoods. When there are leftovers, they donate to people in situations of hunger. However, all this production still takes place in a rudimentary way, totalling an average of 200 tons a year of non-poisonous food. Most families are unable to advance in the use of an area greater than 1 hectare per year. Due to this reality, many families end up dedicating themselves to cassava production, as it is a less demanding crop in terms of soil preparation. The resources of this Flow were used to purchase a rotary hoe tool that, coupled with the existing tractor in the community, will create agroforestry beds in a mechanized way. This will make it possible to double, and in some cases triple, the settlement's biodiverse organic production, making the community much more resilient to seasonal variations, increasing the quality of life and even regenerating many hectares of soil that is now compacted and degraded.




 

Marilia* lives in Caraguatatuba with her children, a girl aged 1 year and 5 months and a boy aged 6 months. Like many Brazilian families, they have gone through basic needs, with the situation aggravated by the pandemic. Since last year, she has been unemployed, and the closed nurseries make it even more difficult for her to be autonomous. The place where they currently live suffers from flooding when it rains. Her situation is urgent. A group of women started a fundraiser for Mayara to build a simple house in a safe place. The Flow directed to her will help to buy wood and tile for construction.



 

Rango da Paz initiative donates food to the population in a situation of high social vulnerability. Meals and agroecological food baskets purchased from local producers are donated. Thus, the project benefits from hunger simultaneously as it heats up the local economy of regenerative agriculture. The project also carries out educational activities on self-care, rights, income generation opportunities, food, health, sustainability and food sovereignty. The resources of this Flow directed to Rango da Paz guarantees the continuity of donations to 30 families for 6 months.




 

The Mães da Favela programme, created by the Central Única das Favelas (CUFA), supports solo mothers living in slums to cope with the pandemic's impacts. The program offers a monthly grant of R$240 to single mothers who live in these territories. Flow directed to this program is equivalent to 4 months of support for a mother.






 

On this Flow, I was carrying my daughter in my belly when I received a request for help. A nurse, a health worker for the "Family Health" program, raised funds for a newborn baby whose mother had died from COVID-19 that day. I called Nurse Kelly, who told me her story of working with highly vulnerable families in her neighbourhood. She also said to me that this mother's actual cause of death was femicide and that her sister adopted the child. The flow came to her in the form of diapers and enough milk for the entire 40-day postpartum phase.


 

Debora* is a young quilombola from Milagres do Maranhão, Brazil. In community projects, she is always ahead with the engagement of her generation. Daily, she supports the children of the community in their studies. A year ago, she began undergraduate studies at the public university, being one of the first people in Patos to access such privilege. Still, the pandemic interrupted classes, and she did not have a computer for attending them online. This Flow has allowed her to continue her studies and pursue her higher education dream by financing her equipment.





*Names were changed to preserve acceptors identities