Jobs, income, providing food: Everything starts with a garden.

São Paulo is a metropolis of superlatives, a city of imposing numbers. Over eleven million people live in the megacity of São Paulo alone. Due to a large population increase, the region of Greater São Paulo, with its 38 cities, has grown into a single city complex where today more than 20 million people are living.

Some 3.3 million people live in the "Zona Leste", the East Area of the megacity which accounts for 33% of the city's population and almost 18% of Greater São Paulo.

The average Human Development Index (HDI), which measures not only the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and how it is divided, but also the longevity and level of education of the population, stands here at 0.478. This wealth index, provided by the United Nations, in comparison, shows the level in the "Zona Sul", the South Area, to be 0.927. This is equivalent to the HDI in Germany.

The active working population in the East Area stands at 1,704,858 people which represent 31% of the labor work force in São Paulo. The city is estimated to have 904,089 unemployed people. About 40% of these, i.e. 358,282, live in the East Area. Out of the number of people in regular employment in the region, 33 % work in the commercial sector and 41% in the service industry.

The work of CITIES WITHOUT HUNGER began in 2004 with the Community Gardens Project in the social focal points of the Cidade Tiradentes, São Mateus, Itaquera and São Miguel Paulista areas. The aim has been to encourage the social integration of marginal groups through gardening and to improve the nutrition of adults and children.

In the meantime more projects have been developed in São Paulo and in South of Brazil. Learn more about the organization.

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01 _ Community Gardens Project

Community Gardens Project

CITIES WITHOUT HUNGER aims to transform unused public and private plots of land into useful community gardens. The precarious situation of the people living in the favelas (slums) in the East Area of the megacity can be greatly improved through sustainable agrarian projects based on organic agriculture.

To date CITIES WITHOUT HUNGER has started up 25 community gardens.

115 people have become community gardeners. This means that along with their families some 650 people benefit from the project by having their livelihood guaranteed.

CITIES WITHOUT HUNGER has organized 48 professional qualification courses. Around 1,000 people have qualified in agriculture or commerce.

02 _ School Gardens Project

School Gardens Project

The primary goal of the School Gardens Project is to give children in deprived regions of São Paulo access to healthy food and to prevent malnutrition. Furthermore, parents and teachers get involved and educate the children about healthy food and respect for the environment.

CITIES WITHOUT HUNGER has to date started and built 38 gardens in public schools and institutions.

Up to now the project has reached 14,506 children.

The School Gardens Project has improved the diet of several thousand children.

03 _ Agricultural Greenhouses Project

Agricultural Greenhouses Project

CITIES WITHOUT HUNGER has developed a technology for building agricultural greenhouses which is more cost effective than the traditional method using aluminum and galvanized steel. By using alternative materials the project has saved 50% of the costs while maintaining excellent results.

Independent of weather conditions, the agricultural greenhouses are able to provide a constant harvest and therefore a reliable income for the families who work in them.

So far, CITIES WITHOUT HUNGER has built seven greenhouses.

Two more agricultural greenhouses are being planned.

Why build Agricultural Greenhouses with alternative materials? Information about the methodology and construction you find here.

04 _ Small Family Farms Project

Small Family Farms Project

The success of the Community Gardens Project in São Paulo has enabled the project to be set up in the small rural city of Agudo in Rio Grande do Sul, the southern-most Brazilian state. This small city which since the 1980's has relied only on tobacco production is now facing difficulties with monoculture.

Currently three farmers are being trained in multiple cropping.

The project is already using two greenhouses which have been developed with the CITIES WITHOUT HUNGER technology.


Recent information on our projects can be found in our newsletter archive.

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