Feeding programme that is keeping learners in school
What you need to know:
- Communities in the region have been among biggest casualties of the current drought in the country.
- Community members said the programme has also helped addressed cases of malnutrition that have been reported in the region.
School-feeding programme in Kajiado County is playing a big role in retention of pupils in schools, amid a biting drought that has led to massive loss of livestock.
This is according to players in the drought mitigation and education sectors in Amboseli region, Kajiado, who now observe that as the number of learners benefitting from the programme grows, so does the retention of learners in schools.
According to Great Plains Foundation, an organisation supporting communities in the region, the number of learners in 29 primary, secondary and Early Childhood Development (ECD) schools under its feeding programme has grown by 368 to 8,628 school children since last year, underlining the need for such programmes to boost education.
“From last year the number of people going to school has decreased, but since the intervention of partners such as Great Plains Foundation there has been a retention of 8,628 children in school. This is a good intervention as it supports mothers too as they don’t need to feed their child at home as there is food at school,” said Paul Ntiati, Chairman of Drought Mitigation Task Force, Mbirikani Group Ranch.
Communities in the region have been among biggest casualties of the current drought in the country, with recently parents reported trooping into schools for food, after they were unable to withstand hunger pangs.
Great Plains Foundation rolled out the school-feeding programme as incentive to learners against dropping out of schools, with hunger becoming a serious concern, as well as sponsoring 24 teachers in 16 schools.
Issues of malnutrition
Community members said the programme has also helped addressed cases of malnutrition that have been reported in the region.
“The School Food Programme is supplying meals to 29 schools in the Mbirikani Group Ranch, feeding 8,628 school children. The food that was donated was maize, beans, cooking oil and salt to feed each child one meal a day during the school term,” the organization said after supplying the schools for first term.
“Before this programme, the number of children attending all schools stood at 50 per cent and was predicted to go down to 20 per cent. Since the start of the programme we attained a 100 per cent attendance," said Kinyaku Konee, Community Liaison Amboseli Region.
Schools under the feeding programme host between 43 and 790 students each.