In the communities where Truvía® operates, we have an impact on people and families. We have the ability to make this impact positive by helping to build sustainable communities.
Our work with these communities centers on participating in long-term partnerships and engaging as a team to improve the communities where stevia is harvested.
We also provide support to producers to invest in education, healthcare, farm improvements, and technical assistance to increase yield and quality, thereby increasing income.
On World Food Day 2012, the Truvía® brand joined with the World Food Programme to launch Sharing a Sweet Future. Now in its third year, nearly $1 million in contributions from the Truvía® brand has been used to help develop sustainable communities in Bolivia, a region of critical need with one of the highest rates of nutritional deficiencies in South America.
The Truvía® team traveled to Bolivia to check on the progress of the program. Watch and share the stories of children, families and farmers and their daily lives in Bolivia.
You can help by donating to the World Food Programme. $1 feeds four children. Donate Now »
In 2013, members from the Truvia® business travelled to Bolivia to meet the schoolchildren the Sharing a Sweet Future initiative is helping feed. The World Food Programme documented their trip in photos here.
If you are interested in finding other ways to help people in Bolivia, click here to learn about a U.S.-based NGO called Mano a Mano that provides multiple ways to get involved.
In the first year of its partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, the Truvía® business has provided 34,705 schoolchildren with school meals and built 68 fuel-efficient stoves, which allowed 3,574 students to eat cleaner cooked meals in a safer environment. The cleaner-burning stoves improve the health and safety of hundreds of mothers who cook at the schools.
By September of 2014, the Truvía® business will have provided school meals for 40,000 students, and another 70 new fuel-efficient stoves.
The Truvía® business values nutritional well-being and supports practices to safely source and supply food and beverage ingredients globally. In some countries, it’s about providing calories.
The Sharing a Sweet Future initiative focuses resources on a region experiencing nutritional deficiencies among its children—the Chuquisaca district of Bolivia.
Sharing a Sweet Future is a two-part initiative that provides vegetable oil fortified with the highest level of Vitamin A nutrients in school meal baskets, and purchases energy-efficient, cleaner-burning cookstoves in more than 200 schools.
One safely prepared, well-balanced school meal a day provides Bolivian children with enhanced nutrition and an incentive for them to regularly attend class. In turn, parents are motivated to send their children to school with the added benefit of saving money that would otherwise be spent on feeding them at home. As a result, school enrollment improves—especially for girls, who traditionally have less opportunity to attend school.
The use of traditional cookstoves and open fires in schools and homes is unsafe for the Bolivian people and their environment. These stoves produce high levels of harmful smoke that result in a range of serious illnesses, mostly affecting women and young children.
Construction of new stoves in these rural schools improves the safety and speed of the cooking environment and has a ripple effect, protecting the health of mothers, cooks and children deeper into the community.
In the end, the goal of Sharing a Sweet Future is to become obsolete. That is, if the initiative is successful, it will have established—by way of better nutrition, education and safety—a self-sufficient community that is not only healthier but also economically viable.
Using schools as a portal to reach deeper into communities touches not only schoolchildren, but also parents and member of the community whose activities in some way affect local schools. This is the case for local farmers for whom stable schools mean consistent buyers of their produce. This is not an overnight transformation, but planting the seeds today is the first step toward a sustainable future.