By Tilekeni Kaunda
Lusubilo Community Based Programmes in partnership with Catholic Relief Services has been implementing school feeding program in Karonga Diocese through HOPE Project with support from Coppel Family in Mexico.
The project is supporting 43 primary schools, 3 secondary schools and 315 Community Based Child Care Centres (CBCCs) with Likuni Phala flour for porridge preparation. This year the project has reached out to more than 20,000 children with the provision of Likuni Phala.
The project comes in to curb the challenges that families face in sending children to school. Before the project, children would not go to school consistently because of lack of food in their homes or, sadly, they would go to school on empty stomach.
Since Lusubilo started the program, there have been many positive outcomes in the supported schools. According to head teachers, the program has improved performance of learners since most of them don’t miss classes. Furthermore, it has increased learners’ retention at school. The provision of porridge at school has also reduced dropout rate.
Apart from improving nutrition and health, the project has also increased access to, and achievement in, education. It is also acting as an incentive for parents to consistently send their children to school.
In a similar program, Lusubilo also collaborates with Karonga Diocese’ Sunday School feeding intervention, which reaches to 28,992 children in a year in all parishes of Karonga Diocese.
Lusubilo is also working with these families, through its Sustainable Options Recommended for Testing program, in empowering them to cultivate enough food for their families.