Hunger should not be a barrier to education in 2023. Many of the children and young people attending our partner centres have lost one or both parents and many live with an elderly guardian who does not work. Lunch provision at the projects benefits the students and their families - many parents and carers will only have something to eat themselves if they know the children have already eaten. A regular healthy lunch improves attendance and concentration, as well as health and wellbeing.
One of the greatest barriers to education is hunger. Many of the students who attend our partner centres live with elderly relatives who already struggle to feed themselves, without the added pressure of children to feed. Learning and trying to stay focussed when you are hungry is a real challenge. We have noticed this across all our partner projects. When children and young people come to school and/or training centres hungry, they find it impossible to concentrate and remain focussed.
With the help of our generous supporters, in 2013 we started our 'Lunch Box Fund'. What a fantastic difference it has made. Not only has attendance improved, but students are much more energetic and alert, and generally healthier. Attendance and performance continue to improve. Lunch provision is a fabulous incentive to attend each day and supports the children and young people's health and wellbeing as well as education.
If youngsters have the sustenance to reach their potential in school, with the improved opportunities for further education and training this brings, they are better equipped to build a stronger future for themselves, their families and communities. Hunger should not be a barrier to this in 2023.
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