Nutritious Lunch Program's Blog

Update from the Nutritious Lunch Program

Please see below for an update from Free the Children on the Nutritious Lunch Program!

Oloosioyi students playing during break time

Increasing Enrollment and Classroom Performance

As part of the health pillar of Free The Children’s Adopt a Village development model, Kenya’s nutrition program strives to maintain and increase enrollment in schools. In the past, many students had to leave school early or not attend school at all if a lunch was not provided during their school day. They had to go home to have their meals, or go to work to be able to afford a meal. For some students, their houses are so far from their school that by the time they eat, it would be too late to come back to school. Many students had to miss at least a half day of class in order to eat. Another issue that arose was that when students missed a meal, they could not concentrate on school due to hunger.

Now, because of your support, the students enjoy nutritious food at school. After the nutrition program was implemented, the schools have observed a significant increase in the average scores on exams. As a result of the nutrition program overcoming some of the barriers to education described above, the students now have more time and energy to devote to schoolwork. They are also able to enjoy school more, now that they are not worried about going hungry.

Implementation and Training

Our health care team in Kenya and members in each school’s Environmental Club have been instrumental in making sure that the nutrition program is successful in breaking down barriers to education and ensuring that the students are healthy. The team has been holding workshops with students on how to maintain a balanced diet in order to avoid any deficiencies that may lead to malnutrition.

Through this nutrition program, schools receive sacks of maize and beans to cook for the students’ lunches. In September, Oloosiyoi Primary School received twenty-eight 90kg bags of maize and beans. Community members in Oloosiyoi recently came together to purchase a one-acre piece of farm land for the school which will grown kale, spinach, onions, carrots and much more. Once the harvests come in, these vegetables will go towards increasing the nutritional value of Oloosiyoi Primary School’s daily lunches. Free The Children’s team will soon set up fences and irrigation systems for the school garden.

Oloosioyi students playing football

While Free The Children supports the gardens by installing fencing and the irrigation systems, the community of Oloosiyoi does its part by tilling the soil and buying and planting the seedlings. Through their active and enthusiastic participation, community members take ownership of the project, which means they are the ones responsible for the improved health and awareness that will free their children and families from disease. That is the individual and community empowerment that makes change sustainable.

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