Around the world, school feeding schemes have been implemented to take care of pupil’s nutritional needs while promoting their capacity to learn. It does not only help to keep children in the system, but also ensures the wellbeing of all pupils and relieves some financial burden on their households.

ATE’s school feeding programme has resulted in improved dietary diversity, nutritional status and class attendance of school children in Lawra over the years. The programme is a targeted social safety initiative that provides both educational and health benefits to the most vulnerable children, thereby increasing enrolment rates, reducing absenteeism, and improving food security at the household level.

Every day more than 66 million children across the developing world go to school hungry, with 23 million hungry children in Africa according to research. Attending classes hungry affects children’s ability to learn, thrive and realise their full potential. Further research shows that providing school meals through school feeding programmes can alleviate short-term hunger, increase children’s abilities to concentrate, learn and also has linked to an increase in the enrolment of girls.

ATE, in its bit to improve the educational and nutritional status of children in Lawra, has provided over a million nutritional meals to almost two thousand children over the past eight years at Karbo Primary, Karbo JHS, Dowine JHS, Bagri Junction, Biro and Gombile, and is about to cover two more schools, Tanchara Kunyukuo and Tanchara Koro JHS, beginning January 2022. As part of the processes to start the feeding, a baseline data collection was done such that the impact of the feeding once it starts can be measured over time. A sample of students, headteachers, some teachers and parents were interviewed to gather information on student’s wellbeing, level of concentration in class, academic performance, happiness both in school and at home (including number of meals eaten per day), and level of parental support.

Above: Students from our two new schools in Tanchara Hub – Tanchara Kunyukuo JHS and Tanchara Koro JHS

“Students’ concentration in class is very bad especially in the afternoon due to hunger. During this time, some students run back home in search of food and either never returns or returns late missing so many lessons. This hugely affects their academic performance and gives them no chance of achieving their dreams” (Nayasama George, headteacher of Tanchara Kunyukuo JHS)

“Most students especially those without parents or no parental care, provide for themselves and as a result sometimes leave school to sell in the market or do masonry work in order to make money. Some travel to south and never returns. Others give up on education due to the trauma and challenges life throw at them. There are currently some students with one special case who could not transition to the Senior High school (SHS) after they have passed their BECE exams because of lack of financial support to help them provide their basic needs for school” (Dery Daniel, headteacher of Tanchara Koro JHS)

To our amazing donors, your donations have helped put smiles on the faces of many and changed thousands of lives. We can’t wait to see the impact of our EducATE programme on these children in Tanchara, and what they can achieve with some support. Thank you!

Written by Kanyir Kuube-Isaan