Mónica Hango, a 48-year-old farmer, wakes up every day with her eyes set on the future. She knows that what tomorrow will bring her, and her family, depends on today's work.
When I get up, the first thing I think about is working hard so that my children will have enough food, because when they can eat properly, I sleep with a clear conscience.
But it’s getting harder for Mónica to put enough food on the table to feed her family. She lives in the town of Humbe, in the province of Cunene, in southern Angola. In recent years, rain here has been scarce. Persistent droughts have made good, nutritious food more difficult to come by.
While people in the area are increasingly feeling the impact of climate change, Mónica is taking action to benefit future generations: she’s taken on the role of facilitator at one of the agricultural field schools in her community. Agricultural Field Schools aim to provide specific responses to the needs of each community, teaching techniques that ensure better soil conservation and allow crops to be cultivated in situations of water scarcity. By better adapting to the climatic conditions in the region, populations are able to increase their resilience and boost food security.
The project has supported farmers associations in promoting food security in southern Angola. Mónica’s association is in one of the 77 communities that have already benefited from the creation of Agricultural Schools in conjunction with the Camões Institute. Through the project, they also received a new irrigation system – relieving the burden to water the crops which often falls on women.
It is in her family that Mónica finds motivation to actively participate in the Association and learn more about agriculture.
By participating in the Field School I will learn new agricultural techniques, and will be able to bring home more food and earn a better income. This will allow my children to go to school. My family is the real beneficiary of the project.
This activity is part of the FRESAN project, funded by the European Union and implemented by Camões Institut, FAO, UNDP and Vall d’Hebron. It aims to contribute to the reduction of hunger, poverty and nutritional insecurity in Cunene, Huíla and Namibe, by strengthening resilience, sustainable family farming, improving the food security of families and supporting capacity building in institutions.