The COVID-19 pandemic has collapsed the global economy at an unprecedented velocity. However, industrialised countries are more resilient as they have a higher capacity to tackle the social consequences of the lockdown. On the other hand, developing and emerging countries have a complex societal arrangement leveraged by a high level of inequality and informal work-force that challenge the battle against COVID-19.
The lockdown decree has shrunk informal jobs that were the main income engine of the poor. As a result, developing countries such as Brazil are facing the risk of dealing with an unprecedented increasing rate of death due to famine during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. In the absence of effective and fast-paced public policies to tackle this problem, the network of solidarity represents hope for people that lack the very basic goods to feed themselves during the quarantine.
In order to strengthen the network of solidarity, my family has started our own crowdfunding to help a community in the city of Arararaquara, the countryside of Brazil. My father is a professor of public administration at UNESP, a renowned public university in the state of São Paulo. He has dedicated his last years to a project that empowers a poor community in Araraquara to build their own public and organic farm. This project has recovered a big public area that was used as an illegal dumping area. The plan now is to transform the area into a community-led organic farm that will provide local people with new capacities and incomes from their own organic farming. This project has a huge potential to reduce the marginality of these people and increase their health conditions, resilience and self-esteem.
However, the COVID-19 imposed a barrier to the continuity of this project. The public government that was engaged with the project providing the seeds to plant is now overwhelmed by the COVID-19 outbreak. The local dwellers lost their incomes, therefore they have no food and no energy to farm. The monthly income of the majority of these families now is literally nothing. They are totally vulnerable and in an urgent need for help.
This campaign is to raise funds to provide basic goods such as food and hygiene products and seeds for planting. Our goal is to reduce the vulnerability of these people during the COVID-19 crisis, and to motivate them with organic farming as an alternative to overcome the economic crisis imposed by the lockdown. This is the perfect time to engage a global solidarity network and to act to strengthen local-producers. Moreover, as this project is led by a Professor in a university, it has also the potential to contribute to science. Our goal is to get social, environmental and scientific outcomes from this campaign.
Any contribution is highly welcomed. :)
Júlia, Marcelo, Arlete and Sergio.