27 September 2010|
The first project for Paskay was set up in the community of T’astayoc in the high andes at an altitude of 4100m above sea level (located close to the Abra Malaga). This project is a food and nutrition project for the children of the community. Carlos decided to embark upon this project following a visit to the community with a group of tourists. The tourists could see that there were many malnourished children studying at the school and the teacher told stories of children falling asleep in class as they were exhausted, unfit and unable to concentrate.
The T’astayoc project is run by the Paskay agronomist (Nelida) in partnership with the teacher and the pupils of the community school.
Greenhouses were built on the community land as an experiment to see if plants and vegetables could grow at this high altitude with the aim of providing a variety of healthy food for the children studying at the community school.
Paskay also built a “comedor” as a place for the children to be able to eat their meals before having to embark on the journey home. Many of the children studying at the school have to walk over an hour to reach their homes even higher up in the mountains.
The daily consumption of the vegetables grown in the green house gives the children a more balanced diet as they previously consumed a high percentage of carbohydrates given the geographical location and the impossibility of certain foods growing at such high altitude.
There are 16 children enrolled at the school and only one teacher and class room so the teacher teaches all different grades in one room. The children are first language Quechua speakers and the classes are taught in Spanish 3 days of the week and in Quechua twice a week.
There has been a significant change in the health of the children since the food and nutrition programme has been in place. It is now evident that most of the children are all above average weight and height.
The students at the community school are also involved in planting and taking care of the plants and vegetables. This is a “lesson for life” as these are practical skills that they need to learn as well as understanding the value of eating a more balanced diet.
Training the cooks
The teacher has received training from FONCODES y PRONAA and is teaching cooks in the community
The following rules have to be followed
- Wash your hands before heating
- Take your hats off before eating
- Sing and pray before eating the food
A menu is followed on what food should be cooked each day
In the greenhouses the type of plants and vegetables are separated in to families…
The ordinary diet of the families in the T’astayc is based in cereals and tubes. The diet is usually lacking in vitamins and minerals. Producing vegetables such as tomates, caulifolower, lettuce, carrots, spinach and broccoli gives the people the chance of diversifying and balancing their diet and improving their health and vitamin deficiencies.
Without the Paskay greenhouses the families would have to spend their money on finding this type of products in other places (usually not of such good quality) in local markets and fairs.
- How do the children look after the plants?
- What time do children get to school?
- How often do they eat in the comedor?
- How do we know that the children have grown and gained weight? Is there any record of this?