Zambia: Children receive meals to improve education – Zambia

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More than 700 people in the village of Katongo receive rice-based meals from the Feed My Starving Children delivery

(MissionNewswire) The inhabitants of the village of Katongo, Zambia eating better thanks to a partnership between Salesian missions, the American development branch of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and Feed My Starving Children, a Christian non-profit organization committed to “feeding the starving children of God in body and spirit.” A shipment of rice flour was received in November 2021 and provided meals for over 700 people.

Among the recipients of the donation was the Salesian Mission of Mornese, which educates more than 200 primary and secondary students. Children received rice meals three times a week at school, which supplemented locally purchased foods. With the feeding programme, there has been an increase in the number of children attending school and in class attendance on days when food is provided. This demonstrates the strong link between nutritious food and positive educational and social outcomes.

A Salesian missionary noted: “The Mornese mission is located in an area where early marriage is common. Due to this practice, many boys prefer to drop out of school and start working to earn money. However, without completing their education, their lifetime earning potential is severely hampered. Mornese Mission seeks to reverse this trend, and the food provided by Feed My Starving Children helps keep students in school.

Other recipients of the donation included children, women and the elderly from the village of Katongo. In the village, women work hard to support their children, and even some old people still work to support their grandchildren.

Precedence Chama is one of the recipients. She is a tenth grader and lives in Brown Village with her mother. Due to their financial situation, they only eat once a day and it is sometimes difficult to afford it. Chama receives rice meals at school and since then she has gained weight and become more active. She enjoys reading, playing netball and visiting different places. She hopes to be able to travel the world.

Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate stands at 80%, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken its toll on Zambian children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphans and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.

Sources:

Photo courtesy of Salesian Missions (Contact for permissions to use)

Feed my hungry children

Salesian Missions — Zambia

UNICEF — Zambia

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