How FCF 11.5m/- monthly fund implements school feeding programme

TANZANIA: SCHOOL lunch is critical to pupils’ health and wellbeing, especially for lowincome ones and ensures that they have nutrition they need throughout the day to learn.

Equally, research shows that receiving free or reducedprice school lunches reduces food insecurity, obesity rates, and poor health.

Healthy eating in childhood means they will have less chance of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. It will also mean they feel better and enjoy life more.

With that in mind, Tanzania’s launched the first national school feeding guideline on 19th November communities and the local government to develop, coordinate and oversee school feeding programs.

Key components of the National School Feeding Guideline include: the importance of school meals, school management of the school feeding program, responsibilities of various stakeholders, mobilization for community ownership and local contribution and lastly, use of data management systems.

Globally, 388 million children benefit from school feeding programmes. These programmes have been shown to combat child hunger and support children’s overall wellbeing.

Strengthening the school feeding systems in Tanzania, it is important that lawmakers mobilize the drive as was recently witnessed in Dodoma, when the Special Seat Member of Parliament for Simiyu Region, Minza Mgika, participated in the actual provision of food to 850 students of Makao Primary School in Meatu District in the region.

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While commending Mwiba Holding Limited Tourism Company for continuing to provide free meals to the pupils at the institution through its Friedkin Conservation Fund (FCF) institute, it is important the community see the essence of ‘owning’ such a drive to feed the children instead of solely relying on the government for the move.

She noted that the company’s project launched since June last year at the school is part of mobilizing the community with projects funded by the institution because school feeding program has been found necessary due to poverty levels in the community where the children don’t have enough to eat at home let alone carry some food to eat at school during lunch time.

 

In the drive the company provides 11.5m/- monthly to sustain the meals’ drive so that the students see the essence of staying in school and concentrate in studies.

Apart from that, it has also built a 37.4m/- modern kitchen at the school and a rainwater harvesting project at 30.8m/- so that in a way it contributes in retaining pupils and in turn make the improve in their studies.

Earlier, contributing to the budget speech of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, MP Minza Mjika (CCM) said that the free meals provided at the school have reduced absenteeism, and schools expect the level of performance to increase.

Equally, the company has also provided 200 bicycles worth 40m/- to students of Paji Secondary School in Meatu district, Simiyu region. Commenting on that Ms Mgika said: “We commend the move in making efforts to build teachers’ and health workers’ houses and completing the construction of classrooms.”

The MP also commended the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Angella Kairuki, and the Deputy Minister and other officials of the Ministry for the cooperation they have been providing to the people of Meatu district in the tourism and conservation sector.

Mwiba Holdings Ltd conducts tourism and conservation activities in the Mwiba Wildlife Ranch and the Maswa Game Reserve. Project Manager of the Company, Aurelia Mtui, said the company has allocated USD 793,000, estimated as 2bn/- in its plough back to the community.

Mtui said that the funds allocated in 2024 have increased as compared to the previous year, as in 2023, USD 525,000, which is more than 1.2bn/- it previously allocated and used.

On his part, Chairman of the Meatu District Council, Anthony Philipo said the company’s contribution is significant in assisting the community in providing school meals, building classrooms and teachers houses as well as training on how to manage conflicts between humans and wildlife, especially elephants.

By and large, to establish a functional school feeding program, parents should be involved in all procedures to ensure sustainability, which will also cater for children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

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