Losinoni village is part of the East African Rift fluoride belt. While a small amount of fluoride is associated with the prevention of tooth decay, many parts of Tanzania and East Africa have toxic levels. The World Health Organization recommends that we ingest no more than 1.5mg/liter of fluoride in the water we use for drinking and cooking. Unfortunately in some parts of Northern Tanzania, the fluoride level reaches 95mg/liter.
Students at Losinoni Primary School benefit immensely from the generous donors who contribute to their school lunch program through AfricAid. In addition to the nutritious lunch they receive daily, the teachers and administrators ensure that the lunch is a healthy break from the often dangerous levels of fluoride occurring naturally in their home water supplies. Levels above 10 mg/liter are associated with the bone disease skeletal fluorosis, which causes pain and damage to bones and joints and can have a severe crippling effect.
By collecting rainwater from the roofs of all the school buildings, the school is able to provide safe drinking water and to cook the daily lunch of traditional makande stew in uncontaminated, fluoride free water.
We’d like to thank our Global Giving donors for supporting the school lunch project at Losinoni Primary School. As a result of your support, we feel confident these students have a brighter future ahead of them.
Losinoni village is in Northern Tanzania. The people who live in and around Losinoni are primarily Maasai, and they face incredibly harsh conditions in that area. Each day, around 600 children make their way to Losinoni Primary School, and despite the difficult terrain, lack of safe drinking water, and ongoing threats to their family’s food supply, these children learn and thrive. In 2014, it was ranked the #1 primary school in the district.
AfricAid believes there are three main reasons for Losinoni’s success:
Through the AfricAid School Lunch Program, the children of Losinoni Primary School have enough fuel to sustain them in their studies. They eat makande, a traditional Tanzanian dish of stewed beans and corn. The dish is especially popular among the Pare and Chagga people of the Kilimanjaro Region of Northern Tanzania, but the dish is eaten throughout the country, especially by school children. The reason is simple: makande provides a nutritious, “whole protein” meal at a relatively low cost. Swahili Mom Kitchen offers a great recipe for makande – why no try it yourself? There’s a link to the recipe below.
With the support of our donors, AfricAid will continue to ensure that the children of Losinoni are able to thrive. We’d like to again say a big thank you to you for donating to the School Lunch Program through Global Giving.
AfricAid's Losinoni School Lunch Program began years ago when AfricAid founders went to visit the rural primary school in Tanzania. Arriving during what would normally be lunch time, the founders noticed that the children do not receive a meal at school. When creating the School Lunch Program, the mothers of the children wanted to help. The Maasai people are known for their beautiful beaded jewelry that they make by hand and the Shuylers thought this would be a great opportunity for the Losinini mamas to help feed their children at school. AfricAid buys the handmade jewelry from the mothers and re-sells the bracelets and key chains in the US to fund the School Lunch Program. These amazing mothers put time and energy into ensuring their children and others in the village are receiving a nutricious meal at school so they can stay focused and study.
Thank you for supporting this community initiated program.
In 2010, AfricAid began a school lunch program for students attending a rural Tanzanian primary school, Losinoni. The children walk several miles a day to attend Losinoni Primary School where they find a daily hot lunch waiting for them through the AfricAid sponsored Losinoni lunch program. Sometimes this is the only nutritious meal they get that day. As you know, a hungry tummy can be very distracting and can cause a child to fall behind in class.
In 2013, AfricAid served 125,000 lunches to 559 students. Lunches consist of cooked maize and beans to keep children’s stomachs full so they can focus while in class. In 2004, only 23% of children from Losinoni moved on to secondary school. This percentage has increased to 85% in 2012 with the help of AfricAid’s lunch program.
The AfricAid Losinoni lunch program is supported in part by the jewelry the children’s mothers make that AfricAid sells in the US.
In May of 2014, 3 board members and 4 supporters of AfricAid went on an Insight Trip to visit AfricAid's programs. The group visited Losononi Primary to see how the school lunch program is doing and were impressed by the high test scores of the students, as well as the high level of attendance. These achievements are because of the lunches AfricAid provides that are not provided in other government schools. The Masai children only have chai (hot milk tea) for breakfast and a small dinner, so receiving lunch at school provides students with a nutricious meal to both keep them healthy and stay focused while in class. Furthermore, Losinoni recently planted a small garden to add more vegetables and fruit to the childrens' diet. Without these meals, nearly 600 children would be spending a day at school with a hungry tummy.
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