SAN DIEGO, CA, US – PCI and key partners were recently awarded a three-year, $450,000 grant by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) to implement Project MICASA, a program with the objective of improving the economic, health and nutrition status of 850 coffee-farming families in Jinotega who are linked to GMCR’s supply chain. The 3-year program will focus on building the local capacity of the community, integrating the protection of the environment in all activities, and promoting gender equality in decision making for both males and females.
Although Nicaragua is primarily an agricultural economy, many citizens still face a daily struggle to obtain adequate food for themselves and their families. In Jinotega, 59.3% of all households suffer from extreme poverty and 75% percent of households lack sufficient food supply, resulting in high levels of stunting and acute malnutrition.
There is a widespread lack of knowledge about simple hygiene and nutrition practices that could help improve the overall health status of the population and avoid the incidence of preventable diseases, especially for the most vulnerable sector of the population: women and children. In addition, there is a lack of access to adequate health care services in the rural areas, which is especially difficult for those suffering from chronic diseases.
PCI will collaborate with local cooperatives, the Ministry of Health and other trained volunteers to assist farmers in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of their farm’s assets and develop plans to maximize the crop production and stewardship.
These evaluations will also assist the cooperatives in understanding the needs and assets of their members. PCI and partners will also establish demonstration sites to feature innovative coffee processing techniques that will reduce the amount of environmental contamination while improving production.
To increase the health and nutrition information available to cooperatives’ members and families, PCI will organize and train a network of health volunteers to serve as health educators who will organize educational sessions focusing on topics like personal hygiene, first aid, and nutrition for children and pregnant women.
The health volunteers will also arrange women’s health fairs focusing on cancer and chronic disease detection, promote health screenings and encourage referrals to health centers for treatment.
“An integrated approach is critical to improving the overall economic and social conditions of rural coffee farmers,” states Leonel Arguello, PCI’s Nicaragua Country Director. “By focusing on a sustainable, capacity-based approach, Project MICASA will ensure that cooperative members are equipped to find solutions to their own needs now and into the future.”
Project MICASA is projected to directly reach 3,400 beneficiaries (and an estimated 6,800 indirect beneficiaries) living in Yalí municipality, Jinotega, which includes members of two cooperatives and their families.
To learn more about PCI and its global health and humanitarian work, please visit http://www.PCIGlobal.org or contact Bonnie Maratea, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager, at (858) 279-9690 x326.
PCI (Project Concern International) is an international health, development and humanitarian assistance organization, operating in 16 countries worldwide. PCI is dedicated to saving lives and building healthy communities around the globe, benefitting over 6.7 million people annually in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Funded by federal grants and private support, PCI celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011.
PCI’s headquarters are located in San Diego, CA and the organization also has an office in Washington, DC and a Seattle, WA representative. PCI’s current annual budget is nearly $50 million and the organization has over 600 employees worldwide.