DILI, The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and Yum! Restaurants International are teaming up with the Timor-Leste Ministry of Education to increase the efficiency of school kitchens, which provide daily hot meals to students.
With a US$195,000 donation from Yum!’s World Hunger Relief campaign, WFP has facilitated the construction of 38 fuel-efficient stoves and 32 new kitchens for 35 primary schools across Manatuto District.
“WFP is grateful to Yum! and its customers for this truly tangible support for the future of Timor-Leste,” said Alberto Correia Mendes, WFP Country Director in Timor-Leste. “WFP provides kitchen and cooking facilities to support the Government’s school meals programme. This helps to strengthen efforts to preserve the environment and allows children to focus on their studies.”
Previously, children in many Manatuto schools spent time collecting firewood to use for cooking their meals, which also took time away from their studies. The new stoves significantly reduce carbon emissions, reduce cooking time by using energy more efficiently and reduce risks of smoke inhalation and eyesight problems for the cooks.
“We are delighted to see this project take off and have such an immediate impact on the people it is designed to help,” said Tony Lowings, Managing Director KFC SOPAC, representing Yum! Restaurants International. “These stoves and kitchens are a very practical way for Yum! to make a difference in communities in Timor-Leste, and we are proud to be involved in such a transformative and sustainable project.”
An earlier donation by Yum! in 2010 funded similar fuel-efficient stoves projects in Liquisa, Bobonaro and Ermera districts that are expected to be completed this year.
Since 2007, the World Hunger Relief campaign has raised nearly US$85 million for WFP and other hunger-fighting organizations, saving the lives of millions of people in 39 countries.