More than 1,400 women are trained in leadership and food security in Guatemala

The Sugar Foundation -Fundazucar- which is the social arm of the Guatemalan Sugar Industry, through its Better Families Program, trained and graduated 1,450 women from 46 communities of the South of Guatemala.

The program began 15 months ago, when the technicians of the Foundation came to the small communities to offer the training and explain that one of the benefits would be the improvement in their quality of life and food security.

After accepting the program, they initiated the training in which the women learned about nutrition and food security; as well as safety in food handling.

They also acquired the skills to measure and weigh their children to monitor their nutrition. At the 46 communities that were part of the program, they weighted, measured and monitored 907 children.

The technicians made an inspection to determine the foods available in the communities and then explained in the community their nutrients and characteristics; as well as the ideal way to combine them so that families could have a balanced diet that would keep them away from poor nutrition.

In rural families in Guatemala, men traditionally go to work and women stay at home and take care of children, prepare food and manage the home, so training them is essential to ensure an adequate alimentation; since in those areas are malnutrition rates.

The training also had a component in which women’s self-esteem is reinforced and they are encouraged to take a proactive attitude in the development of their community. With this leadership, women have increased their involvement in local development, some have taken part as local authorities and have a direct impact on the development of their communities.

Fundazúcar, as the social arm of the sugar mills of Guatemala, started the program “Better Families” in 1997 and since then has trained more than 500,000 women and have managed to achieve behavioral change at the individual, family and community levels, with a positive impact and reducing chronic child malnutrition.

The objectives of the program are: to develop in the women of the communities, practices for the adequate selection, preparation and consumption of food. Educate the mothers in preventive health with sustainable actions to improve the condition of mother-child, family and community and strengthen community organization to ensure processes of self-management and sustainability of food security.

The Foundation also carries out other education, health and municipal development programs which are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.