The Barefoot Guide to Surviving COVID-19
The Barefoot Guide to Surviving COVID-19 addresses how people across Africa can weather the COVID-19 pandemic, and, in the process it debunks many of the misconceptions that exist in the food industry, provides real, sustainable solutions to the challenges families face in their pursuit for access to healthy food, and explains how families can start their own gardens.
The Natural Food Barefoot Guide Writer’s Collective, which includes Groundswell International’s Peter Gubbels, wrote the book. It is the first book in a new agroecology series produced by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), a broad-based alliance of civil society actors that are part of the struggle for food sovereignty and agroecology in Africa.
We spoke with Peter about this Guide and what it can do for families in vulnerable communities.
Peter, tell us a little bit about your role at Groundswell and your experience with agroecology and sustainable food solutions.
I am one of the co-founders of Groundswell International, and I have been working in rural development for 38 years. For the past 28 years, I have lived and worked in West Africa, helping rural communities promote sustainable agriculture, agroecology, and nutrition. My wife and I live in a village north of Ghana where we have a small farm and produce our own food.
What can African families take away from the Barefoot Guide to Surviving COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic hit everyone hard, but in vulnerable countries, high levels of poverty, inequality, and inadequate healthcare made controlling the virus more challenging. Nearly 3 billion people in developing countries don’t have access to clean water, and social distancing has been all but impossible for those that live in crowded conditions.
However, resilience to COVID-19 involves more than access to PPE. Healthy food is a must to boost the immune system. This guide is meant to assist citizens in the quest for nutritious, chemical-free food. It explains in simple, easy-to-understand terms why a balanced diet of natural, unprocessed food helps to strengthen immune systems, allowing a person to cope with and heal from infectious diseases like COVID-19.
You can find and read the guide on our website.