by Ellen Daniels-Howell – Project Leader
Without question, providing a school lunch to a Kenyan student is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep the young boys and girls served by the Global Interfaith Partnership doing well in school. For only $25 per school year, we are able to provide a nutritious noon meal for a student who otherwise might not eat much all day. Children’s health improves; their school attendance improves; their academic performance improves. Teachers tell us that students who used to struggle to come to school each day are now attending regularly and performing at the top of their class. It is a remarkable thing!
Even as we feed over 3000 children in 18 primary schools daily, we know that there are still many hungry children in other area schools who do not benefit from our program. From the beginning, we have sought ways to encourage the schools to support a lunch program independently. Raising the necessary funds is almost impossible for schools with very limited resources in such a rural area, and serving very impoverished children.
Recently we built cow sheds in 3 of the primary schools, and a group of Indiana elementary students raised the money needed for 3 pregnant heifer. Our hope is that these cows will provide both the milk needed for cooking, as well as some income to support lunch program supplies like maize and beans. In addition, we want the students to learn about managing livestock, skills they can take home to their individual families. We are already seeing the benefits to these three schools, and hope this is the first step in helping them to have sustainable school lunch programs.
Through your support we have seen the impact the school lunch program has had upon the children. Our goal is to help a few of our partner schools be able to support the lunch independently so we can assist other schools in the area. We thank you for your generous response to the needs of these hungry, but very motivated, boys and girls!