In addition to Fair Trade Premium investments, we have started, together with the workers from different assemblies, to run alternative projects to benefit the communities. The idea of these social development projects is to have an educational, health care-related, or ecological purpose, among other possible options.
The workers themselves carry out these tasks for the sake of their own communities and Interrupción supports their initiatives providing them with advice and necessary assistance.
The first project, run in Tucumán in Santa Lucía assembly, was about the creation of compost in the rural school “La Mesada.” The aim was to raise awareness about the problem caused by garbage in the area and submit a possible solution, starting in schools, and then through the families reaching the whole community.
Compost gives back to the soil the organic matter it had previously taken from it; thus, composting strengthens soil structure by replenishing nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron- which are necessary for plants to grow; hence, creating a continued life cycle. That’s why compost is considered one of the best fertilizers. Besides, as it is natural, compost enhances soil quality without polluting it with hazardous chemicals which damage the ecosystem and end up in our food chain.
We worked with fourth graders, who visited Fincazul farm together with their teacher and school principal, the farmers introduced them the key concepts of biodynamic agriculture and tech them the composting process (to learn more about biodynamic agriculture, please click here: https://www.facebook.com/interrupcion/posts/428037290665879?stream_ref=10). In addition, students built a composter which later was taken to school so that they could start their work.
These activities with compost were accompanied by an awareness-raising program for the kids and their families. They were asked to fill out some forms with questions regarding what they did with household waste. Most children live far from the town center. For this reason, the garbage truck does not collect their garbage, so they burn or bury it, which causes high levels of pollution.
Once the compost project was started, the students took it to the town’s science fair, and then visited all schools’ science fairs around the province of Tucumán, where they received recognition and positive feedback from local education authorities.
Introducing this project at different fairs helps share it with other schools and spread the word so that other institutions can do the same work. In addition, it helps generate interest. The school’s principal wants to take a further step and go on with the project using the compost they have already prepared. She wants to create a biodynamic farm at the school. The workers of Santa Lucía have volunteered to help them with this kind of agriculture.