Supporting Women & Families

Improving Lives of Women and Families

Women looking after their families in the rural communities where SHARE works in Central and South America face many daily challenges.

SHARE knows that when women are supported there are immediate and lasting benefits in families and communities.

Women in rural areas may not have access to clean drinking water. Most are cooking on open fires and spending a lot of time and energy fetching water for household use from sources that may not be near their home.

SHARE provides small projects that can improve the daily lives of women and their families. SHARE funds workshops that include information for men, women and youth on gender equality, anti violence, leadership, literacy and life skills.

Supporting Moms in Haiti with Food and Funds

The garden project provides FOOD.

S.H.A.R.E.’s support to a partner in Haiti provides FUNDS to implement a large garden project that will provide FOOD for families.  This project provides  watering cans, hoes and seeds. An agriculture technician is paid to assist hundreds of women to start small backyard gardens.

The small gardens can provide some fruits and vegetables for families who had a child recover from malnutrition at the partner’s treatment centre. The project is extended into many neighbourhoods when the women take on a leadership role to recruit and assist 5 of their neighbours who are then also assited to start small gardens. Along with some basic health information that the project supplies, the fruits and vegetables that are grown in the small gardens will improve the families’ nutrition. Some women have also had small sales and appreciate the income.

These photos show the 503rd, 504th, 505th and 506th women to participate in this garden project in the Nord Department of Haiti.

A business package supplies FUNDS.

The informal economy in Haiti is very common. SHARE’s project gives supplies to women to earn income from the sales of those items at local markets or from their homes in an entreprenuership program.

Marianne’s story:

“Marianne is the 503rd caregiver to launch a business through Second Mile Haiti’s entrepreneurship program. Her business in Cap Haitien helps her provide for the children in her care, including her grandson who battled Severe Acute Malnutrition earlier this year. When it comes to child survival, caregivers need to be able to access nutritious foods and medical care when their children are sick. Yet without income, that is next to impossible. When we talk about a healthier tomorrow for Haiti’s children, jobs and income-earning opportunities for parents are just one piece of a complex puzzle, but an essential piece nonetheless.”

Copied from Second Mile Haiti’s Facebook post.

Improved Stoves - " No more tears in the kitchen" in Guatemala

Caption: What a change from cooking over an open fire! The stove pipe on this eco stove takes the dangerous fumes and smoke out of the home. 

Caption: This stove is made by the women of locally sourced stones and mud. The fire pit is partially enclosed protecting small children from falling on the fire.

Caption: Stoves with enclosed fireboxes and stove pipes protect the safety of the children and the health of the women. The stoves use less wood than open fires.

SHARE has been able to supply improved stoves for many households in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

These eco stoves protect the eye and lung health of women so they are not exposed to the toxic fumes and smoke of the traditional open wood burning fires. These improved stoves also protect the children from falling on the open fires.

Much less wood is used in these stoves so there is less wood gathering, a benefit to the local environment.

The benefits of these improved cooking stoves to family health and the environment are immense, the cost savings significant, and the time-savings important.  

With generous grants from teachers’ unions in Ontario, SHARE was been able to supply eco stoves in several Guatemalan communities for the women who are volunteering to cook the food for nutrition programs at rural schools.

Household Water Filters Transform Lives;
The Gift of Clean Water in Guatemala

 “Simple techniques for treating water at home and storing it in safe containers could save a huge number of lives each year”. (UNICEF)

The Other Water Cycle

The “other water cycle”, the cycle of unclean drinking water, sickness and poverty, is a deadly relationship that disproportionately affects the poor.

Drinking unclean water that contains harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites contributes to 80% of illness in developing-countries causing 1.8 million annual deaths around the world (World Health Organization).

Young children are most vulnerable, but everyone is affected in the isolated rural communities where SHARE works. Parasites in contaminated water consume nutrients, aggravate malnutrition, and hamper physical development. The repeated sickness keeps women and men from their work and their children from school thus perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

To end this misery SHARE funds cost effective household water filters. Education and follow up are provided by SHARE’s partners.

Families immediately have improved health and energy. Men and women have increased productivity and their children’s school attendance improves. Less of the families’ meager income is spent on medicines.

Community Access to Water in Bolivia and Guatemala

In many rural communities families must walk long distances to get water for their household use. SHARE has assisted communities to have more convenient access to water. Sometimes the irrigation systems that bring water to the small fields for crop production can also provide a water station close to homes. In other cases pumps, storage tanks and pipes bring water closer to the homes.

Fetching water is usually the job of women and children. When water is only a few steps away, lives are changed. Children can attend school more regularly and women have more time for gardens, household dutes and family. 

Caption: Children in these rural communities in Guatemala often miss school because they must fetch the water for the household from streams and springs located some distances from the community.

Watch this short video about the gift of water for a small Guatemalan community.

boy carrying water

Household water for homes in Bolivia:

A project in Bolivia provided 50 water tanks for families experiencing water shortages. A system to collect water from the roofs on houses was installed. The project included small irrigation systems for each family for household gardens. Some families were able to sell some produce in their community.

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