Malnutrition is the norm. It causes children's development to be stunted and leaves them vulnerable to disease. With such poor food security, parents feel there is no option but to keep home to help in the farms, fishing or with domestic duties.
But in five of the villages we work in, this is no longer the case. 1,120 children now receive a nutritious meal every school day. A child who receives "matafome" ("hunger killer" - an affectionate name the children call their school meal) is 3 times more likely to regularly attend school, avoid malnutrition, perform better at school and generally be much healthier. It's a project which, quite literally, transforms a child's life.
To give a child like Momade a meal a day at school for a year costs just £40 (including planting 3 school fruit trees), or just £3.30 a month.
Cheia Momade is a little boy from Guludo village. He’s from one of the poorest families in the village who struggle feed him just one simple meal each day. He’s always been one of the smallest children for his age and prone to illnesses. Two years ago Cheia started at Guludo primary school and hasn’t missed a day since! Without the school meals Cheia’s parents couldn’t have sent him to school but now there is no hesitation. “The school meals have made our son strong and tall. We are very proud of how he studies and so grateful for the matafome.” This project has dramatically changed the trajectory of Cheia’s life and he is one of just 1,120 children who are currently receive school meals.