El Ninõ Relief & Recovery School Feeding Initiative

Report
from Adventist Development and Relief Agency International
Published on 28 Jun 2018

Summary

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Rise Against Hunger (RAH), and Islamic Relief USA (IR USA) are spearheading a 3-year* school feeding initiative in Southern Africa to provide relief to communities devastated by the El Niño drought and support them on their road to recovery. The initiative targets Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

School feeding programs help curb school dropout rates during times of drought. Baseline assessments conducted by ADRA revealed key challenges in school attendance and participation that adequate and nutritious meals cannot address alone. The complexity of the situation calls for activities complementary to school feeding if we hope to overcome these challenges. They include improving school infrastructure such as kitchens, food storage, and latrines, increasing access to clean water, and establishing school and community gardens. This holistic approach aims to significantly magnify the impact of the program.

Major Challenges

• High percentage of children attending schools while hungry and struggling to stay focused

• High level of absenteeism (teachers and students due to illness, family emergencies, work, and access to school

• Decrease enrollment in higher grades seen with both genders

• Inadequate and infrequent access to clean water

• Inadequate school infrastructures and facilities that compromise school safety, learning, and health

Key Project Interventions

• Improving nutritional status of 50,546 primary school-going children by establishing on-site school feeding

• Increasing enrollment and attendance across 186 schools

• Establishing school and community gardens

• Building essential sanitation facilities, increasing access to clean water, conducting hygiene and nutrition sensitizations and establishing WASH clubs

• Ensure sustainability through local staff, community, and private sector involvement

*Project Duration: 2017-2020