Lunch4Learning is an enabling programme that helps Ugandan primary schools to help themselves. We work directly with individual schools to assist them in providing children with a midday meal within a sustainable framework.
To participate in our programme, schools are asked to present a work plan. This should include the development of an income-generating project on site that will propel them towards sustainability and a higher nutritional provision. Inclusion in the programme is accompanied by a signed Memorandum of Understanding.
STRAND 1*: School Garden. Schools can use our start-up, grant, to plough the land before planting, to purchase seeds, fertiliser and tools where these are required.
STRAND 2*: Income Generating Projects (IGP). These are the life-changers for our schools. IGPs require commitment and hard work but we are convinced that a successful IGP will go a long way to accelerate a school’s journey towards sustainability. To date, we have seen some creative approaches being applied across our schools. Where the land available is in short supply, some schools have, bought chicks that will eventually lay eggs that can be sold in the market or fed to the children. Others have been breeding pigs, growing tomatoes and ground nuts, planting mango trees and eucalyptus trees for harvesting or as long term investments.
Because Uganda is both tropical and equatorial, schools can harvest most crops twice a year. This then goes into school kitchen to help feed the children.
STRAND 3*: Water harvesting. Effective learners do not just have to eat, they also need to have access to drinking water and we have been addressing this in significant ways. We have repaired a large number of water tanks, replaced many metres of gutter and brought boreholes back into use by simply replaced small, faulty parts in pumps. We are now working with HYT, local NGO, to build a large number of new water tanks and with Assist International to pump water 300 metres from a well into the nearby school.
STRAND 4*: Advocacy. Keeping local officials informed of what we are doing is especially important. However, visiting the schools during parents’ meeting days is also essential. To promote greater understanding of our work, all our promotional literature is being translated into Busoga, one of the local languages. We are also working closely with priests and imams so that our message is reinforced from the pulpit.
In common with other charities, our biggest challenge is fundraising. To date (July 2013) 95% of all our funds have been raised in the UK but we continue to explore other funding opportunities both in Uganda and further afield.
Grants are handed over to the headteacher in the presence of the school’s Chair of Management Committee and its use is monitored by our Programme Manager.