Education  Kenya Project #18273

Feed School Children in Kenya

by African Promise Vetted since 2010 Site Visit Verified
Feed School Children in Kenya
Feed School Children in Kenya
Feed School Children in Kenya
Feed School Children in Kenya
Feed School Children in Kenya
Feed School Children in Kenya
Feed School Children in Kenya
Feed School Children in Kenya

With schools in Kenya now closed for the long Christmas holidays, our feeding programme has come to a successful end for another year.

Thankfully the year has been far less challenging than the drought-afflicted years of 2016 and 2017, and food prices have continued their downward trend, started towards the end of 2017, throughout the whole of the year. As a result we have been able to provide a daily term-time lunch to all 2,500 pupils across our seven partner schools for 22% less than in 2017, at a total cost of approximately £34,500 (less than £14 per pupil and just 7p per meal!).

Can you support the programme in 2019? 

We have budgeted the programme at around £30,000 for next year. Unfortunately we have lost the support of one of our long-time funders of the programme - whose annual funding was equal to 25% of this budget - as their foundation has been wound up but we remain confident that we will be able to secure the necessary funding from other sources and from our own resources.

*** Donation matching opportunity ***

If you would like to help us deliver this programme in 2019 then you might like to know that the third installment of any new monthly donation started before the 31 December 2018 will be matched at 100%. For example, if you set up a new recurring monthly donation of £/$50 today then we will receive an additional £/$50 after your third monthly donation in February 2019.

 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at African Promise.

There was a time when supporting a feeding programme in our partner schools was beyond our limited means. But it is now 5 years since we launched this programme, initially in a single school of 330 pupils, and since then we have provided an astonishing 2 million meals!

Every meal we provide goes a long way towards removing poverty as a barrier to education and ensuring that hunger does not exclude children from school and from learning. Without these meals, the majority of children in our partner schools would ultimately go through the school day learning on an empty stomach, with parents and schools unable to provide even a basic lunch through their own resources.

We are very grateful to everyone who has made this possible, whether your donation was last month or a few years ago. However, we still need to raise less than £700 ($900) by the end of September to guarantee that we can provide a daily, term-time meal to the 2,500 pupils currently enrolled across our seven partner schools for the remainder of 2018. Any donation you can give towards helping us reach this target would be greatly appreciated.

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/18273

Although our 'Feeding Minds' programme was launched nearly 5 years ago, in September 2013, it is only since May 2015 that we have served a daily meal to each-and-every pupil across our partner schools. This month, then, marks three years of that stage of the programme and of ensuring that no pupil is excluded from learning or from school for want of a meal at lunchtime. 

In total we have now provided more than 1.75 million meals over the life of the programme and we currently provide food for almost 60,000 meals every month, although due to a recent restructure of the pre-school system by the Kenyan government, including an increase in the minimum school-going age, the programme is benefiting slightly fewer pupils now (2,500) than at the end of last year (2,750).

After a challenging 2017, it has been a relief that food prices have remained stable over the course of 2018 so far and, although they are yet to fall back to ‘pre-drought’ levels, we are at least able to make reliable projections of what the programme will cost from one month to the next, something which was near impossible last year!

Based on current food prices we estimate that the programme will cost approximately £26,400 to deliver for the remaining two terms of 2018 (115 school days in total) at an average cost of about £230 per day, £10 per pupil and just 9 pence per meal!

However we are hopeful that, as Kenya experiences its first consistent and prolonged rainy season for a number of years, the prices of domestically grown foodstuffs that make up our lunch menu will fall over the course of the rest of the year.

Queue for lunch at Makwasinyi Primary
Queue for lunch at Makwasinyi Primary

In 2017, like in 2016, we successfully provided a daily lunch to all 2,750 pupils across our seven partner schools (the equivalent of just over 500,000 meals). However, the year has not been without its challenges.

Kenya, like much of East Africa, suffered a severe and prolonged drought in the latter half of 2016 and much of 2017. The drought saw food prices soar, with prices of the domestically grown staples which make up our lunch menu (beans and maize) increasing by as much as 60% in the 12 months up to May 2017. Although the cost of imported rice remained stable, this still resulted in an almost 45% increase in the daily cost of delivering the programme.

At the same time, a succession of failed harvests in our project area due to the absence of any notable rainfall in the 18 months up to September 2017 meant that for many children in our partner schools the lunch we provide became an ever more vital lifeline. So much so that young and vulnerable pupils from outlying ‘feeder’ pre-schools which we were not reaching with our lunch programme began walking long distances through the bush in intense heat to reach our partner schools just so they could get a guaranteed meal at lunchtime. This was placing the facilities at one of our partner schools in particular under great strain and as a result we took the decision in February to formally extend the lunch programme to these feeder schools, immediately benefiting an additional 100 children.

However, the extra demand and spiralling prices placed enormous pressure on our limited resources and as a result, in May we took the decision to reduce the amount of maize and rice in each portion - by 25% in the case of maize for the primary pupils and 50% in the case of rice for the nursery pupils. These reduced portion sizes, which are now broadly similar to those provided by Mary’s Meals and other charities delivering small-scale school feeding programmes in Kenya, will remain in place permanently going forward.

With these adjustments to portion sizes we were able to control costs and, in the end, the total cost of the programme in 2017 was approximately £43,500.

Impact of the programme

The programme continues to have considerable health and educational benefits for children.

For many children, especially during the recent drought, it has been their only guaranteed meal of the day. In the words of one headteacher: "The food that African Promise supplies for our school is the only refuge that saves the life of the most vulnerable children in this part of the earth." The impact of a hearty meal is very obviously reflected in the behaviour and attitude, as well as physical health and appearance, of the children across our partner schools, compared to pre-introduction of the programme and compared to pupils in other nearby schools.

Meanwhile, headteachers continue to report near 100% attendance rates and improved levels of concentration and attentiveness amongst pupils, with their minds and bodies fuelled for effective and productive learning. We are in no doubt that the programme is a major factor in our partner schools increasingly being ranked among the best performing schools in the region. And as more-and-more children benefit from the feeding programme from their very first days in school we expect the impact on academic performance and attainment to become even more profound.

Looking ahead to 2018

In 2018 we expect to deliver the programme as we have done in 2017, although we hope that it will be a less challenging 12 months!

Thankfully, food prices appear to be falling back towards pre-drought levels and the latest batch of food we bought for this first month of the new school year was purchased at prices we have not seen for the best part of a year, so fingers crossed that trend continues and prices eventually return to pre-drought levels.

We have budgeted the programme for 2018 at approximately £43,000, the equivalent of just £16 per pupil for the entire year.

On behalf of all our partner schools and their pupils, thank you for your support.

With our partner schools in Kenya having recently closed for the holidays, we are celebrating the end of another successful year for our lunch programme.

As previously reported, the year has not been without its challenges due to the effects of the more than year-long drought. However we still managed to serve around 500,000 meals (to 2,750 children a day by the end of the year), including our 1.5 millionth meal since we launched the programme at a single school in September 2013.

With rains having returned to Kenya and food prices now stabilising we are hopeful of brighter prospects for the programme in 2018. Furthermore, with the local communities around our partner schools now realistically able to plan for a first proper harvest in almost two years, we hope that the lunch we provide at school will be the only meal of the day for far fewer children in the months ahead.

However, going forward, our lunch programme will continue to be a vital intervention in removing hunger as a barrier to education and ensuring more children are in school more of the time.

Support from people like you has allowed us to maintain and grow this programe for 4 years now but we need to raise approximately £45k ($60k) to deliver the programme again in 2018 and ensure that all 2,750 pupils across our seven partner schools are guaranteed a daily term-time lunch for the duration of the year.

If you are able to make a donation, especially as we head towards the end of the year and the festive season, we would be very grateful for your support. Please visit our project page to make a donation. Thank you.

 

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Organization Information

African Promise

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Project Leader:
Charles Coldman
London, London United Kingdom

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