With support from CESE, the Centre for Alternative Technologies in Zona da Mata, raises funds for the empowerment and autonomy of female farmers and businesswomen

The project “Exchanging Knowledge and Producing Flavours in the Community Kitchen of the Centre for Alternative Technologies in Zona da Mata (Centro de Tecnologias Alternativas da Zona da Mata: CTA-ZM)” supported by CESE’s match funding methodology, aims to train female farmers and businesswomen who use the CTA-ZM’s community kitchen to strengthen their production enterprises and enhance income generation.  It also aims to strengthen female leadership and autonomy and train new groups.

“This activity empowers and provides visibility to the work of businesswomen, because they run the workshops themselves, which helps them like they are the protagonists of this space. It also publicizes the kitchen to other groups, but our main objective is to promote nutritional food security,” declared Sinthia Luzia, Technical Advisor on the Women and Agroecology programme.

The Match Funding Methodology involves groups raising funds locally, CESE then doubles the amount.

According to Sinthia, the fundraising experience was unprecedented and had a number of effects: “After running the project, the kitchen, which is already a centre of reference in Viçosa for the production of healthy food, expanded and gained a lot of visibility.”  She noted that the construction of the community kitchen’s school concluded at the beginning of the pandemic, when it wasn’t possible to run activities because of social distancing, which led to the group breaking up: “We were already thinking of alternative ways to link up once again and return to work,” she said.

Sinthia explained that the fundraising target was met without creating overload and with support from the whole CTA team.  She also talked about the importance of CESE’s partnership and support: “CESE is a very important organization for the CTA, a long-standing partner, because we value networking and mutual support, in dialogue between organizations that share the same mission, which is to strengthen family farming, more sustainable farming, which could help to mitigate climate change”.