Against the odds, Augustine starts school

Augustine on the field playing during break

By Jesse Jackson Sarkodie – School Feeding Program Officer & Nutritionist

Augustine was born into a broken home. But thanks to your support of the school feeding program, he’s getting stronger each day.

When Ataa was in her final year of junior high school, she found herself pregnant. Ataa’s father became very agitated with the man who impregnated his daughter, and after series of disputes between the two families, the man was arrested. Ataa’s father could not come to terms with the fact that his daughter had become a school dropout after investing so much in her education. He became a laughing stock among his peers, especially those who thought he was foolish to educate his daughter in the first place.

Mr. And Mrs. Boateng with their grandchildren (Augustine and Suzy)

There was too much anger in the home, so, like many poor girls in rural Ghana, Ataa decided to leave the community and set out on her own. But she found that the world was tougher than she imagined. By the time she and her son Augustine returned home, they were both in worse condition.

Ataa’s mother lamented, “Though, I am not a nutritionist, when I saw Augustine I knew right away he was suffering from chronic hunger.” By then, she explained, Ataa was expecting again. “I wondered how my husband and I could take care of Ataa, her pregnancy and her son.”

Eventually, Augustine and his half-sister Suzy came to live with their grandparents, and they enrolled Augustine at in kindergarten at Beposo D/A School, where they are grateful that he receives free breakfast every morning.

“I enjoy the porridge, especially when I am eating together with friends,” says Augustine.

“I must say my grandson is not the only one who owns SHI gratitude,” said Augustine’s grandfather.  “The zeal with which the children at Beposo Basic School eat the porridge is amazing, and I ask myself how many of these children would attend school regularly if no porridge was served?”

Augustine’s grandmother added in, “Every parent from Beposo must be thankful to God and Self-Help.”

Augustine, now eight years old, is developing interest in school. Though he had a rough start in life, his grandparents have high hopes that he will complete his education, become responsible and serve his community.

Augustine (center) enjoys QPM prepared breakfast

Thank you for your support of the school feeding program, and supporting children like Augustine to get the nutrition their growing brains and bodies need!

At Self-Help, we know that fighting hunger isn’t a quick fix. It requires both feeding interventions to support children already experiencing malnutrition; and at the same time preventing malnutrition for the next child by working with mothers. If you’d like to learn more about our work to support teenage girls to stay in school and delay pregnancy until they are able to care for a child, visit our sister project here. In honor of International Women’s Day today, GlobalGiving is matching all donations made to Stop 125 Teen Girls in Ghana from Missing School today only!

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