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.
Thank you all for supporting AfricAid's Losinoni School Lunch Program! Losinoni is a rural primary school located in a Massai village in Tanzania. Maria Galter, AfricAid's Executive Director, recently visited Losinoni and saw the impact first-hand of the lunch program.
Losinoni currently partners with two organizations, AfricAid and Isitutos Oikos, to provide food for the children. Istitutos Oikos provides Losinoni with seeds and technical expertise for a small school garden to add vegetables and fruits to the childrens' diet, while AfricAid provides rice, beans, and maize. AfricAid would not be able to do this without the support of donors like you, as well as the Maasai Mamas. The Maasai Mamas are a group of Losinoni childrens' mothers who hand craft bracelets that AfricAid sells in the US to support the lunch program. These partnerships provide nearly 600 students with a nutricious lunch in Tanzania.
For this update, I would like to share my personal experience with the challenges African students face in terms of meals. Before I became the Operations Manager for AfricAid, I spent 8 months volunteering in Uganda. I spent a lot of my time visiting primary and secondary schools to play soccer and interact with the kids. When I first heard and saw how little food children receive at school, I was heart broken. Many girls I met told me about their daily one hour walk each way to and from school. This walk was normally done after they finished their morning work of collecting firewood, washing dishes, preparing tea and collecting water, which left them exhausted once they finally arrive at school. With many schools not having the funds to provide a lunch, most students grew tired and had a difficult time focusing in class. As school is already expensive for many rural households, families do not have enough money to contribute to the school for lunch expenses, making school meals a distant dream. These same issues are occuring in many rural and semi urban locations throughout Africa, Tanzania being one of them. When I joined AfricAid's team and learned of the School Lunch Program, I was so pleased to learn that we are providing lunch for students at Losinoni Primary School in Tanzania. Even better, we are involving the community in the effort with students' mothers making bracelets to sell here in the US as contribution to the food costs! This program is truly making a big difference in the lives of the 650 students. Imagine what it would be like to try to focus and keep up with your studies with an empty stomach. Now students at Losinoni are receiving higher marks and are able to concentrate in class. Thank you all for making this happen and we look forward to continuing this project in 2014 and years to come!
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