Lunch4Learning is currently operating in the Jinja district of Uganda where there are 87 primary schools and around 72,000 children. The majority are now in the programme. However, the expectation is high from schools across the District and in other parts of Uganda not yet involved.
There is a clear process by which schools are permitted to join the programme. This includes a long meeting involving the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher, Chair of Management Committee and Chair of the PTA. During this meeting we ensure that schools are committed to our ideals and are prepared to work together to achieve our common objectives.
We apply 4 strands to help the schools move forward.
STRAND 1: Start-up funding to plant out a School Garden. With a small proportion set aside for seeds and ploughing, the harvest goes into the kitchens to feed the children.
STRAND 2: Start-up funding to set up an IGP/mini business that will continue to bring income long after Lunch4Learning has helped the school achieve sustainability.
STRAND 3: Committed funds to ensure schools have effective water harvesting options for cooking, drinking and hand-washing.
STRAND 4: Committed funds to an advocacy programme to encourage support and intervention from parents, faith groups, local and national politicians through that raises awareness of children’s hunger in schools.
We sponsor schools on a mixed formula of a fixed cost and a student unit cost.
Although our first grant was handed over in February 2009, we have already seen a significant improvement in student attendance at most schools. An increase in the number of Division 1 pass rates at Primary Leaving Examinations is also beginning to appear in schools where this had not happened in a long time.
The objective of "helping schools to provide a lunchtime meal to 100% of children 100% of days at school in an increasingly nutritious way" is still some way off for most schools. We are, however, monitoring progress and data is being collected on a half-yearly basis in order to target the areas where each school need to improve upon.
We estimate that most schools should reach 75% sustainability within 36 months.
Our partnership with Rotary International and other supporters will help us develop our work further by addressing the following initiatives:
To provide on-site mobile milling services to schools.
To fund a further 35 schools to help them develop Income Generating Projects.
To install an additional 30 x 10,000-litre tanks with guttering in schools most in need.
To build a plant for the production of organic briquettes.