Mexico: Nutrition infrastructures for orphans
Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), Spanish for ‘Our Little Brothers and Sisters’, is an institution present in nine Latin American countries that cares for vulnerable children living in extreme conditions and strives to offer them a loving and safe family environment.
Most of the children who arrive at the NPH orphanage are malnourished, illiterate and have very low self-esteem. They were either abandoned or orphaned, or lived in extreme poverty. Over the years, NPH has worked to offer these children education so they can become productive and respected members of society. Activities at NPH include the children taking part in the production of fruit and vegetables for self-consumption in order to reduce costs and ensure quality food for the residents.
We fund this project, which aims at improving agricultural processes and upgrading equipment in order to increase yields and help the NPH home at Cuernavaca to become more self-sufficient.
The quality and variety of the fresh produce also contribute to healthy nutrition. A new greenhouse was constructed that should increase tomato production. It also serves as a tool to educate children in approaches to sustainable agriculture. A new cold storage chamber with a capacity for one ton of meat has replaced an old one, improving conservation conditions and helping to better plan weekly menus and ensure a balanced nutrition with the necessary protein intake. Organic fumigation of the cultures has been developed in order to decrease the use of chemical inputs in line with the healthy and sustainable approach embraced at NPH. In 2018 the canteen was repaired after sustaining substantial damage due to a major earthquake and in 2019 the orphanage's pig farm was restored, enabling better access to sustainable food options.
Givaudan volunteers have backed the project from the very start, providing nutrition advice and help with the choice of new crop varieties. These volunteers and their families have also helped in planting tomatoes and cucumbers in the greenhouse.
“Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos is more than an orphanage; it is a promise of a new life. I was impressed to see how they build a future for the children through a global and sustainable approach encompassing health care, education, food – of which they grow a large part themselves – and much more. I could also see how Givaudan employees in Cuernavaca are proud to help them fulfil their mission.”
Matthias, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Givaudan Foundation