How your money helps: Leandro's story
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Date: 23 October, 2008

Photo: Christian Aid/Hannah Richards



Having lost four of his thirteen children, what Leandro wants more than anything is to keep the rest of his children healthy. Hannah Richards reports

80% of his family’s diet is potato. They can’t afford to buy vegetables and can’t produce enough potatoes to last them all year round.

Leandro has to work in a local artisan mine to supplement their income. It is very dangerous.

With Christian Aid partner, the Centre for Educational Advance and Research (CIPE), he is building a greenhouse to grow vegetables to eat and to sell.

The compost produced by the worms they give him planted with good quality potato seeds will allow him to feed his children all year round.


Leandro said: "We didn’t know how to build greenhouses. We don’t know many vegetables, we don’t eat them or have a good diet.

"We need the greenhouses. We will be able to trade with people for other goods – potatoes and grain and rice. We can swap with them, change the vegetables with them.

"I had 13 children but four of them died. Children die with diarrhoea and coughing. They have respiratory problems.

"Here, the children don’t have the nutrition they need, we eat potatoes and chuño (freeze dried potato), barley and wheat.

"Sometimes we don’t have food. We don’t even eat fruit. Very rarely, when we can afford it, we buy vegetables. We eat this when we have money. When we don’t have food we eat toasted maize.

CIPE helps provide the building materials for the greenhouses, gardening equipment, worms and seeds.

Because of the donations to Christian Aid, this scheme has helped more than 8,000 families in Bolivia.