Kofi, a pupil, carrying his bowl.
Kontomire is a farming community in rural Ghana, about 32km from Kumasi. There is a lack of electricity, and the village is lucky to have boreholes that supply good drinking water. The local school, which goes from kindergarten to junior high, has observed a decrease in attendance, especially among the younger children.
The parent-teacher association found that most children stay away from school because of hunger. A solution was formed in which each child from kindergarten to primary 1 would pay 50 pesewas ($0.25) to be fed lunch each day. Since then, the school has been serving lunch on a daily basis.
The idea of feeding kids to keep them in school has been a worthy cause, but it still faces several challenges. Children whose parents are unable to afford the 50 pesewas are left out of the solution. Also, when Self-Help International visited Kontomire in October 2013, they observed that the cooking was done in the open and in deplorable condition.
The quality of food was of low standard and cooking was delayed each time it rained. In compromise with SHI, the community provided lumber and labor for a new school kitchen while Self-Help provided aluminum sheets and nails. Although provision of a kitchen was part of the solution, there was still one more challenge.
SHI observed that all the children, including Kofi (6), carried their plates and bowls to school every morning. Some of the bowls were not properly handled and at times the kids used them as play objects. This too, was a health hazard that affected the quality of the food being served.
SHI responded by donating 76 plates to be kept at the school. Kontomire is very thankful for the support from SHI. In February 2014, Kontomire will partake fully in the Self-Help International Quality Protein Maize (QPM) Feeding program. The community has already acquired farmland to cultivate QPM. With the help SHI has given, the community of Kontomire will be able to serve children breakfast prepared from QPM every school day.
With your support, children like Kofi will be fed on a regular basis. Thanks to your generosity, Self-Help International is one step closer in alleviating hunger by helping people help themselves.
Meals being prepared in the open.
Kitchen under construction