“My sister is healthier because of you”

Yesterday, the school feeding program staff, Nancy and Jesse, visited the community of  Bedabour for monitoring and met with Jasmine, a farmer and a mother of four whose children are active in the local school feeding program.

Jasmine had come to the school that day to meet with her daughter’s teacher to inquire about her academic performance. Her daughter, Nadit, is in KG2 (kindergarten). It is quite unusual for parents in rural communities to visit their children during school hours. Parents usually spend daylight hours hurrying to visit their farms or the market. They leave their children under the care of their teachers, sometimes without breakfast, so our team was pleased to see Jasmine taking such an interest in her daughter’s education.

According to Nadit’s teacher, Joana, Nadit is healthy and active in class. Joana spoke highly of Nadit, noting that she has been more positive and happy in class of late. Jasmine was just so happy that the feeding program was available at her daughter’s school. Nadit now comes to school early and excited to learn because of the breakfast served.

Jasmine also mentioned that the benefits of quality protein maize (QPM) in her daughter’s breakfast is a household topic for conversation.  Nadit’s older sister Rahama, a junior high school student in a nearby school, also is familiar with the benefits. She took an interest in her sister’s health.  Rahama shared, “Since Nadit started consuming porridge made from quality protein maize, she has blossomed. Due to the high protein content of the maize her body growth is excellent. Because of the porridge served at her school, Nadit is never absent and hardly falls sick.

Nadit’s mother Jasmine confirmed that change in Nadit’s health saying that now she is strong and healthy, and has not needed to visit the hospital in the past twelve months.

Rahama went on to say that the school feeding program is so encouraging because it not only increases school enrollment and attendance, but also generates household discussions focusing on the growth and development of children. She noted that families now recognize the importance of feeding QPM and other protein-rich food items to the entire family – including children – and is improving the lives of Nadit and hundreds of children in their village.
In rural communities where access to meat and fish is a challenge due to economic challenges, cultivating and consuming proteinous crops such as QPM, soy beans, cowpea and groundnut are key to the health of growing families. With support from people like you, we will continue to educate and support many rural Ghanaian families to grow and consume more protein. This program will continue to promote the growth and development of children, reduce incidents of diseases and malnourishment, and minimize hospital attendance, which reduces medical bills for families. With a healthy family, parents will have adequate time for their businesses and make more profit to take care of their families, thus creating long-term, sustainable and positive change.