Educating and encouraging the community to become involved in school and village gardens, provides a lifetime improvement in fulfilling nutritional needs. By involving parents and students of the Ampil Commune, we are able to teach the whole community how to sow and reap. Providing tools and seeds to the local community, along with the knowledge of which crops bear the most nutritious crops, will ensure the eventual sustainability of the schools' free breakfast program and improve nutrition.
The Cambodian villagers tend to produce very limited crops. Most families only manage to secure an annual crop of rice to sustain their family. They have no good basic knowledge of nutrition, and feed their children rice with one or two kinds of vegetables. Because of the lack of protein and variety of vitamins in their diets the children from the start are at risk of stunting. Many only receive simple rice based meals a day and come to school hungry. It is hard to learn on an empty stomach.
By educating the community and providing tools and seeds, we will be able to move towards sustaining the free school breakfast program with the help of the food production within community and school gardens instead of relying on donors. By giving them basic nutritional and agricultural education and providing them with starter seeds and tools they will also be able to take better care of their family's nutritional needs.
Besides new knowledge and food sources this cooperation gives pride to the community who provide for their families. It can then help themselves break the cycle of poverty and hunger. They are more self reliant and can expand their vegetable production to sell at the local markets or even to the local restaurants and hotels.