Combat child malnutrition and support learning in Ghana. SHI coordinates with farmers, parents and schools to facilitate a school feeding program using locally-grown protein-rich crops so kids start the day nourished and able to focus in the classroom. SHI promotes nutrition among new mothers and infants in the first 1,000 days through breastfeeding counseling; education on nutritious weaning foods; support growing those crops; and other interventions to support healthy growth and development.
In Ghana, 28% of children under the age of five are stunted due to chronic malnutrition. For children 2 years old and younger, proper nutrition is crucial for foundational brain and physical development. For school-aged children, chronic hunger can be devastating to learning, yet many children arrive to school on empty stomachs. Protein is critical to children's diets to allow for effective brain development, yet few children have access to the protein they need on a daily basis.
The School Feeding Program provides children with a nutritious daily porridge so they can be well fed and ready to learn. Parent-Teacher Association members grow and provide the Quality Protein Maize (QPM) for the porridge, fostering community ownership and long-term sustainability. The GHFGHC program teaches expectant and new mothers about nutritious weaning foods, shows mothers how to produce nutritious foods, and provides nutrition interventions for infants to ensure they get the best start.
When we introduce the School Feeding Program, schools' enrollment doubles, daily attendance increases, and absenteeism decreases. Children are able to attend and focus on their studies. The program supports 600 students enrolled in preschool, kindergarten & 1st grade in rural schools around the Ashanti region. GHFGHC is in Beposo & Kukuboso, Ghana, and serves 180 women & their infants. Many infants in the program are on track for healthy development, giving them a strong foundation in life.