Malnutrition is a significant health problem for children in rural China. According to a 2006 survey sponsored by Stanford University, student diets in over 50% of primary schools in poor areas of Northwest China (where our school is located) contain little or no protein. More and more children in rural China are starting to board at school from an early age. They eat three meals a day at school and their families are responsible for paying meal fees. The government does not run a nutrition program or give direct subsidies for school meals. Guardians and school administrators are not well-informed about the linkages between good nutrition, children's development, and educational performance so they often are not willing to pay for adequantely nutritious food for their students. As a result, rural children's diets at home and school lack essential nutrients like proteins, iron, and important vitamins. Our observations are that many of the children in our program have stunted growth and are underweight for their age. Since 2007, we have provided a nutrition program that offers an egg a day per student and staff at the school. We have also started organizing parent education meetings through which we can inform parents about issues with their children's health and diet and raise awareness and support for better nutrition.
Guan Ai is a not-for-profit, innovative boarding school that serves 128 students across several villages in Yongji, Shanxi Province, China. Its facilities are not fancy but its teachers are young and energetic. The school is a pioneer in developing new, student-centered teaching methods aimed at high academic quality and well-rounded development.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and vitamins and meet a crucial need of the students, since their diets contain so little meat.
The Rural China Education Foundation staff have been based year-round at Guan Ai School since 2007, working side-by-side with the teachers. RCEF supports the teachers in teaching reforms as well as the principals in operations management so that resources and finances are transparent and well-documented. Please visit our website at http://www.ruralchina.org/
03 MAR 2011Many students in RCEF’s programs in rural China eat all their meals at school. Their parents have migrated to cities to find work leaving their children behind to board at village school. The meals at school contain very little protein. In response, generous Givology donors provided an egg for every student each morning to supplement their diets during this crucial time in their physical development. In 2010, Givology donors supported 130 rural students at Guan Ai Primary School to receive an egg a day. Thanks to the success of their efforts, we have decided to introduce the program to a new school which serves about 250 rural students! Above: The school cooks prepare a meal. School meals in rural Chinese schools usually are not very well-balanced. Above: Students line up for breakfast. They eat three meals a day at school. Above: Kids are happily served eggs! Above: Students clean up after each meal sweeping up stray egg shells and food.