Molly is thirteen years old from the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya. She's one of the 20 million children around the world who get a nourishing meal at school thanks to World Food Program.
Although Molly doesn’t have much at home, she’s like any other girl of her age: she has her favorite music, her favorite games and her best friends. She also has hopes for the future. One of them is to help her generation look after the environment better.
In order to work towards her goals and lift herself out of poverty, Molly needs to be strong, physically and mentally. And she needs a good education. Fortunately, she’s moving in the right direction.
Thanks to the nutritious WFP meals she gets at school every day, she can stay healthy and concentrate on her lessons. The result is that Molly has a good chance of growing into a strong woman who will earn a living and be able to keep her family free of hunger. In short, those daily meals at school are feeding her future.
And like Molly, there are millions of other adolescent girls in poor countries around the world who are receiving school meals from WFP. This is one of the ways WFP is helping the women of tomorrow achieve their potential.
Last year, WFP gave her a small video camera and asked her to record scenes from her daily life. Watch the Molly’s World video by clicking the link below and get to know this incredible young girl!
The Coins 4 Kids campaign has fed 72,000 children in almost 100 schools in Nairobi since its inception in 2004.
WFP believes that no child should attend school hungry. The fortified food offered by WFP strengthens a child’s body and mind, and may be eaten as a nutritious breakfast or a mid-morning snack. Take-home rations of rice or cooking oil also create incentives for families to send their daughters to school. Coins 4 Kids volunteers will receive a kit with tools for raising awareness and funds, including coin-collection cups, brochures, donation forms, a tabletop display, fact sheet, coordinator guide, and DVD. For each Coins 4 Kids cup that a volunteer fills with change, WFP will feed a child for an entire school year.
The Coins 4 Kids campaign funds WFP’s School Meals program. The School Meals program in Nairobi, Kenya, where Molly lives, is one of the most effective ways to fight hunger as children are guaranteed at least one healthy meal per day. Just 25 cents will feed a child for a day. This amount can fill a cup with porridge, rice, or beans, or give a take-home ration. Each year, WFP provides about 25 million school children with meals that they can’t get at home. WFP’s meals allow children to do better in school and break the cycle of poverty. Approximately $1.2 billion can feed the 23 million primary school-age children in Africa who attend school hungry.
Uganda has embarked on a development agenda over the past two decades, with generally positive consequences on welfare and hunger.
Uganda’s proportion of poor people continues to decline but the country still ranked 161 out of 187 countries on the 2011 UNDP Human Development Index, with half the population living below the international poverty line. In the Karamoja region, over 34 percent of young children are stunted, nearly 23 percent are underweight, and about nine percent are wasted. Although food availability is not a major problem for Uganda as a whole, access to food and utilization of it are inadequate in many locations.
In February 2012, smallholder farmers in the Kapchorwa area of Uganda welcomed the establishment of a WFP-sponsored grain warehouse. “This is an important day for farmers, many of whom function at subsistence levels due to a lack of infrastructure and poor access to markets," said United States ambassador to Uganda, Jerry Lanier. "This warehouse and the concepts that manage it will help them get more of their products into better markets for a better price.” The Kapchorwa warehouse is a major step in improving the handling of grain that supplies WFP School Meals programs in Uganda.
Under a new supplementary feeding initiative, WFP now reaches nearly three times more malnourished children in the desolate Karamoja region in north-eastern Uganda.
Every month in 2008, WFP reached nearly 6,000 children brought to health centres by their parents. With community-based supplementary feeding, which started in 2009, WFP now reaches almost 17,000 children at the health centres and through an outreach arrangement.
“WFP is doing more to address acute malnutrition in Karamoja", says WFP Country Director Stanlake Samkange. "We are working with NGOs to send out village health teams to identify moderately malnourished children. The teams then refer affected children to outposts that we set up under trees and other places. There, the children receive food and medical attention while their mothers get health and nutrition education".
Acute malnutrition is a sudden onset condition caused by shocks such as drought or conflict.
Aim of the programme“Our aim is to reach more malnourished children and to provide more mothers and health workers with health and nutrition information while reducing the distances that the mothers have to walk to access assistance”, says Samkange.
Too often in Karamoja, clinical malnutrition is detected only when mothers take their children for ailments such as malaria and diarrhoea. Malnutrition is frequently diagnosed too late and the children die. Community-based supplementary feeding is therefore important as it helps detect malnutrition in time.
Impact of the programmeThe programme has increased the rate of immunisation with the Government accessing large numbers of children who arrive for treatment. In addition, the programme has enabled the formation of women's groups.
“Working with the village health teams, the women play a big role in supporting each other, following up children under treatment and spreading health and nutrition information,” Samkange said.
WFP’s broader responseKaramoja suffers a combination of hardships including droughts, extreme poverty, poor hygiene and limited livelihood opportunities. As a result, there are chronic food shortages and high rates of malnutrition.
Affected children are targeted by WFP’s community-based supplementary feeding programme which is closely supported by the World Health Organization.
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