SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAM

Improving Learning Outcomes
through School Feeding Program

‘’I am so grateful for the feeding program, more often it is my first meal for the day since we normally take supper alone.”
Learner, Mweronkanga

SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAM IN MERU AND THARAKA NITHI COUNTY

On a daily basis a good number of children in some regions of Meru and Tharaka Nithi County go to school on an empty stomach. This makes it difficult for them to concentrate and learn in class as well as participate in co-curricular activities. The children are also involved in the fields grazing or doing menial jobs in search of food, this in turn affects their learning progress. This menace has had the impact of locking out the communities from accessing higher education and ultimate job 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 Meru and Tharaka Nithi County started the school feeding program in mitigation intervention. As a result, 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, in Tigania West Sub County, Meru County in a remote village. The residents are subsistence farmers in a semi-arid area characterized by large scale poverty. Families barely have a meal a day. Schooling is not a priority to most families, as they are preoccupied with what to put on the table each day and everyone is involved including the children.

The feeding program started in 2018, and already the effect is tangible. The academic ratings in national exams over the years with the feeding program has gone 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 for lunch, 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.’
Learner, Mweronkanga

LUURIA PRIMARY SCHOOL

The school began in the year 1974 with muddy classrooms but as the years passed by the classrooms have been upgraded to block classrooms although some of the classrooms are still dilapidated.

Due to its good performance, the school is considered the center of excellence but due to drought the performance has significantly gone down.

The headteacher stated that the majority of the learners went hungry because the little support from the parents in the school feeding program was no longer available. The learners hardly have enough to feed on, the land is bare. This led to absenteeism and school dropouts and thus negatively affected school performance.

RI intervened this situation and began a feeding program for the next two terms.

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 from school.

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