Help children get a healthy meal
Village children often have to walk many kilometres to school. They can’t walk back home for lunch and often skip lunch. This has an impact on their capacity to stay concentrated in class. Children are vulnerable to diseases such as malaria and meningitis, so an extra meal can help boost their immune system.
In rural areas, only 40 to 50% of children go to school. A free school meal is a strong incentive for parents to send them to school. For girl, parents are even more reluctant. They will marry later and become the responsibility of another family. With boys, it’s different, as they are expected to take care of their parents later. What a difference with the Netherlands!
What does the project entail?
The aim is to provide lunch every day for all schoolchildren in primary schools. ASAP offers rice, oil and salt for the meal, and parents provide the beans. The meals are prepared by members of the parents’ association in the school kitchen.
At the beginning of the school year, parents bring 3 cans of tomatoes with beans. The beans are very important as they are an important source of protein.
We would like to start a pilot programme to increase the proportion of protein in our lunches. At the end of the school year, we will offer every mother 2 kg of bean seeds through the mothers’ association and the teachers. The mothers will increase their bean production, then donate a part of this to ASAP for the lunch and sale at the market (to buy new seeds for distribution in the next schoolyear), and keep the rest for their families. Then we will have come full circle!
What are the results?
At least 25% more children attend primary school. A free lunch for their children motivates parents to send them to school. On top of that, children who eat a good meal can concentrate better and their immune system is boosted so that they can better fight off diseases.
Some children bring their leftovers back home for their brothers and sisters who do not go to school.
Good to know: since the introduction of primary school lunches, more girls are sent to school by their parents!
How much does it cost?
20 euros per child per year.