Self-Help provides daily meals Monday – Friday to school children in Ghana. Feeding Quality Protein Maize (QPM) porridge to malnourished children improves their diets by enabling them to consume protein that is critical to brain development.
In Ghana, 28% of children under the age of five are stunted due to chronic malnutrition. Many children arrive to school on empty stomachs. Hunger pains make learning difficult. Some tots, just three years of age, travel up to three kilometers to get to school. For some of these children, this may be the only time they get a meal. Protein is critical to children’s diets to allow for effective brain development, yet few children have access to the protein they need on a daily basis.
These school feeding programs fight malnutrition by ensuring children get a nutritious daily breakfast so they can start the day well fed and ready to learn. We teach parents improved agricultural practices so they can increase yields and provide more food for their children after school as well. The Parent-Teacher Association members grow and provide the Quality Protein Maize that the porridge for the feeding program is made from, fostering community ownership and long-term sustainability.
Each time we have introduced a feeding program, that school’s enrollment doubles, daily attendance increases, and absenteeism decreases. Teachers report more attentive classrooms. Children are able to attend school and focus on their studies, free from the distraction of hunger pains. That head start at learning lasts a lifetime. This project supports the 600 students enrolled in preschool, kindergarten & 1st grade in Bedabour, Beposo, Fankamawe, Kontomire, and Nkrakrom schools in rural Ghana.