Cover image: World Food Day

World Food Day

Victoria Ahmed works in CAFOD’s education team. In this blog she shares stories from Bolivia and resources for schools to explore links between food and climate for World Food Day 2016. All around the world, Harvest is a joyful time. A time of abundance, thanksgiving, and sharing. In Bolivia, when harvests are gathered, communities come together to share a meal and rejoice with songs and dancing. This tradition of sharing food is called ‘apthapi,’ pronounced ‘ap-tappy’ Just imagine a dazzlingly colourful picnic, with large brightly-coloured shawls filled with food to share, from potatoes, chuño (freeze dried black potatoes) and broad beans, maybe some cheese and eggs, or even fish, with salsa of tomatoes and onions. But for many people, the rejoicing is short-lived. Up on the Bolivian Altiplano – a vast arid plain 12,000 feet above sea level on the edge of the Andes mountains – growing food is a daily struggle. The harvests that are collected are not enough to see families through the year. The climate and the weather is unpredictable. Sometimes devastating hailstorms or heavy frosts destroy crops, and at other times there is not enough rain. As many as one in five people in Bolivia are malnourished. Download a fact file for more information about Bolivia for children and young people Hand holding seedsThis World Food Day the focus is on taking action to support the world’s poorest people, often farmers, fishers and pastoralists, who are being hit hardest by the changing climate. Agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the effects of climate change and become more resilient and sustainable. In Bolivia, CAFOD has three partners who are working alongside the people of the Altiplano. They offer training in traditional and modern farming methods. This includes technical help for families to build their own greenhouses and wormeries. (Worms can convert animal dung into rich compost in just three months!) Families who have been trained share their knowledge with others in the community. The impact of these farming techniques is huge. Families who have received this support can now grow enough food to eat, as well as additional food to sell and earn an income. RubenThis eight year old with the huge smile is Ruben. This World Food Day we are sharing Ruben’s story with children. Ruben told us: “Then we had the greenhouse and we were give seeds and now I can eat vegetables. I like the greenhouse a lot.’ Watch Ruben’s film to see how greenhouses and worms are making a difference. Ruben and familyWorld Food Day is a chance to take action to support communities struggling to grow enough food. Find more CAFOD resources for children and young people this World Food Day.   You can also search for resources on the Global Dimension database, using the topics of 'food' or 'climate change'. If your school is registered on the Global Learning Programme you can also find World Food Day resources exploring food and climate change on the GLP England and GLP Wales websites (you will need to login to GLP to access the resources).