‘’I am so grateful for the feeding program, more often it is my first meal for the day since we normally take supper alone.”
SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAM
Improving Learning Outcomes
through School Feeding Program
Almost on a daily basis a good number of children in some regions of Meru County go to school on an empty stomach. It makes it difficult for them to concentrate and learn in class, and this limits participation in co-curricular activities like playing. A number of these children simply do not go school, as their families need them to help in the fields or around the home in search of daily sustenance. This greatly affects their learning due to missed lessons and lack of concentration leading to persistently poor results in national exams every year. This has had the impact of locking out the communities from accessing higher education and attendant opportunities.
One of the objectives of the government of Kenya’s School Meals Program, is improving enrollment, attendance, retention, completion and learning of school age children with equity.
Ripples International in response to identified needs in selected schools in Mercy County started the school feeding program. Since then the attendance and performance of students has improved tremendously within a short time. We believe this approach will go a long way in making a huge difference for the future of many children and their communities.
Stories of beneficiary schools
Mweronkanga Primary School
Mweronkanga Primary school is a public school with over 397 learners. It is located 6.5 km from Kianjai Market, Meru County in a remote village. The residents are subsistence farmers in a semi-arid area characterized by large scale poverty. Family barely have a meal a day. Schooling is not a priority to most families, they are preoccupied with what to put on the table each day and everyone is involve including the children.
The feeding program started in 2018, and already the effect is tangible. The academic ratings in national exams has shot up. The head teacher attributes this to the support they are getting from Ripples International. Teachers are also noting that children now have more time to play over lunch hour since they don’t have to go home seeking for lunch, one that is never certain. Ripples International also does advocacy of children rights in the school.
‘’I am so grateful for the feeding program, more often it is my first meal for the day since we normally take supper alone.’
Ntani Primary School
Ntani primary school has 211 learners. In the last five years Ripples International’s school feeding program has helped the school to enroll back dropouts, plus newcomers, an increment of 27%. The academic ratings in national exams has consistently gone up.
The feeding program is being implemented in a community where children’s rights are scarcely upheld. RI runs a child rights outreach initiative addressing the main issues which are early marriages and teenage pregnancies that are forcing girls to drop out of school. There is also modern day challenge; motorcycle taxis which lure young boys into business, and girls into marriage, all these compound the challenge of keeping children in school.