83 School Children Now Have Breakfast at School

Seseko District Assembly Kindergarten and Primary School

Eighty-three children at the Seseko District Assembly Kindergarten and Primary School in the Ashanti Region of Ghana now have access to porridge for breakfast at school after the Agricultural and Entrepreneurial Development (AED) Program of Self Help International (SHI) provided the community with Quality Protein Maize seeds to establish a school farm.

The Francis Mueller & Virginia Lageshulte Agriculture and Entrepreneur Development Center run by the AED Program taught members of the Seseko community how to use the Manual Hand-Push Planter and planted the farm alongside them. In addition, they were provided with fertilizer, weedicides and pesticides. The community in turn provided labor.

For two years now, proceeds from the farm have been used to run a local school feeding program where porridge is prepared at the school every morning for all the school children; from kindergarten to class six, to take as breakfast.

Commenting on why the community found it necessary to seek the services of the AED Program to provide meals for the school children in the morning, Samuel, 35, Assistant Headmaster of the school, said most of the students do not take breakfast at home before coming to school. “Furthermore, there are no food vendors around so food is not sold at the school which is located in a farming community.”

Samuel said while the school is on the government’s school feeding program, the program provides food only at lunch time hence the need to find an alternative way of providing breakfast for the school children. He commended the AED Program for their assistance to the school saying “the school feeding program has made a positive impact on enrollment levels as well as the ability of the students to stay active in class and learn.”

Commenting on the quantity of maize needed to feed the entire school, he said, “We normally need more than one bag of maize to provide breakfast daily for all the students at the school during the school term.”

Porridge ready for 83 students

Meanwhile, efforts are underway by the Providing Good Nutrition (PGN) Program of SHI to formally start a School Feeding Program at the school. Under a PGN supported feeding program, the school will be provided with cups, spoons, sugar, and a caterer to prepare the breakfast which is currently being prepared by the older girls at the school. During a visit by the PGN team and other SHI staff to assess the situation at the school in May this year, Mr. Antwi welcomed the idea of PGN taking over the school feeding program at the school.

He said other pressing problems encountered by the students are lack of school sandals, school bags, school uniforms, and books. In addition, the school building is in a deplorable state which makes it difficult to teach whenever it rains since learning is disrupted by the rains.

Justice who is the Community Crop and Livestock Specialist of the AED Program said they were approached by the school two years ago for assistance to establish a school farm to support a school feeding program for the school children to ensure that they have access to breakfast daily.

Taking into consideration the nutritional needs of the school children, they immediately  went to the rescue of the school and supported the community to cultivate a maize farm to feed the children.

The school farm, which is less than an acre, produced 300 kilograms, which is approximately three maxi bags of maize last year